More small gestures

violet1We live close to the hospital, and Sunday morning a friend came by to borrow money. His wife was being treated at the hospital for a scorpion sting on her wrist.

While he was back at the hospital, another friend came by with some eggs to make breakfast with. I’d offered to make us breakfast if he brought eggs over.

After the anti-venom was paid for, my friend and his wife stopped by to tell us about it. By that time my wife had gotten home from her errand and the six of us had a nice impromptu Sunday morning visit.

Every day each of us has the possibility of experiencing a few little moments or gestures that resonant with us. We might hear something interesting or funny, or sometimes it’s an experience we might share with a friend or even alone.

Our lives build up as these small gestures and moments accumulate. They’re the events that actually stand out in our memories, more than the ones you’d imagine, like jobs, graduations, and weddings. Looking back, people focus on the granular aspects of their lives more than the big events you’d think you’d see from afar.

I clipped out part of an article several years ago that struck home. All I have is the clipping, the magazine and it’s author are lost in my marshy memory, sorry. The back story concerned a writing program for older people.

The program seemed to help them to better deal with aging. Participants ranged from violinists to bricklayers and from cowboys to doctors. The author said what struck her is what older people chose to write about.

She said, “No one regardless of what they did for a living, ever writes about their jobs, or their weddings, or the birth of their children, or the war, things that many people would assume most older folks would write about.” She said “they write about the relationships and the very small gestures that have made them human.”

I guess this rang true to me at the time as well as now. It was something I’d noticed and suspected was true. It was reassuring to hear it from someone with experience with a large pool of people.

This is my 500th post, with echoes from my first post, “Small Gestures.”