Looking at Little Things

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

― G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

All one has to do is spend a bit of time with toddlers to realize that one no longer possesses the youthfulness of God (G.K. Chesterton, above) that courses through the veins of children. I did so yesterday, and I cannot count the number of times I was requested to speak like a dinosaur and move a small plastic dinosaur about as if it were playing with another fellow dinosaur held in the chubby hand of a two and half year old (very youthful!) human. Meanwhile, I was growing bored with the play and was thinking of the bed skirt I had wanted to order; and was wondering if the storm outside had abated, and if I would encounter rain on the drive home. Finally, at one point, when the very youthful person was laughing uncontrollably as one dinosaur had fallen to the ground, I stopped and remembered this from G.K. Chesterton:

“…the humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together. Their top-heavy dignity is more touching than any humility; their solemnity gives us more hope for all things than a thousand carnivals of optimism; their large and lustrous eyes seem to hold all the stars in their astonishment; their fascinating absence of nose seems to give to us the most perfect hint of the humour that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.”

Yes, children give to us the most perfect hint of the humour that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven; and such hints of heaven are all around us, usually in the most ordinary things: seeing a mother holding a baby, seeing a baby!, observing a flower; small things, what might be called common things or little things.

And, about little things, I turn to the picture of the roses (above). The clay vase was made by a friend who, then, adorned the vase with roses from her garden, and took the (posted) picture. The dark background of the photograph causes the rich colors of the flowers and vase to stand out in relief, reminding me of this from (again) G.K. Chesterton:

“Rich colours actually look more luminous on a grey day, because they are seen against a somber background and seem to be burning with a lustre of their own. Against a dark sky all flowers look like fireworks.”

It is lovely to be in summer where flowers or garden fireworks (which appear, to the older in us, in a form of monotony, as if God made them all the same, but He made them all each as separate creations) are all about and children (those hints of the humor that awaits us in heaven) flourish in the sun and life outdoors.

Before we know it, fall will be approaching.

For now, let us enjoy the long days as children do, one moment at a time, never tiring of the little things that God sends our way to assist us to remember the life that awaits us in the world to come; it will be a good life there, and children (and other little things) remind us of that truth.


~Image: roses in vase, Pamela Minto, July 2021.