Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Things

Little Things

I like little things. I do not know why, but I tend to interested in things that are “different”, out of the ordinary and unique. I seek out the details that others miss. Things that are little are often overlooked.

I am also a geographer, and understand the role of “scale”. Tiny animals like spiders, bugs and ants exist on a much smaller scale than humans do. What for us, is just a few steps is for them a journey. Yet they not only live, but seem to survive quite nicely.

There is something comforting to me about the fact that, in the midst of human chaos, life goes on. For example, at work one day I looked down and, there just inches from a heavily-travelled road was a line of ants. They seemed oblivious to the loud cars and trucks overhead. Instead they walked along the white line, in search of food, or water, or mates or whatever. Maybe that white line was a highway for the ants, and they were on a journey to visit other ant-friends a few ant-miles away (which for us would be a few feet).

Another time I was in an argument --a very heated discussion that had moved to a neighborhood park. I, and the person with whom I was losing the argument to, thought that going to the park would help to calm the situation. When we sat a picnic table, a tiny green bug, about the size of a comma, walked across the tabletop. I pointed it out. And stared at it, since staring at my argument opponent was not in my best interest.

Something happened! Quickly, the problem that had brought us to that picnic table seemed to—at least for a while—float away. We were both engrossed in the happenings of this tiny bug. It went between the wood planks, but did not fall. It traveled, as if on a mission, across the table top. In a moment the world seemed simpler, less complex, for this tiny bug had no knowledge that it was on a table, or was being spied upon by others who were not seeking prey.

Tiny little things are all around, be they small ants along a road, tiny bugs on a table, or small fish in the backyard pond. All these living things exist in spite of human interference and encroachment. Not only that but they seem content, and at peace with their space. That to me is a nice thought.