Today I decided to eat my lunch on my front porch–why? well, I’m gonna tell you.
I made myself two sandwiches, ham and cheese, threw in some Tostitos chips, too; and I put it all on a napkin. Then I went outside and sat and ate and observed.
A question came to me: How often do we notice the small things?
By small things, I don’t mean the rabbits that occasionally pick at our back lawn, nor do I mean the birds roosting in our trees. The small things, to me, are the aspects of a usual item we often neglect after a certain time.
I was sitting on the porch, listening to dogs barking, wind whistling, when I looked over at the stucco lining our house. Now, this house was built a year before my family moved into it, and we’ve lived here for over eleven years; so it’s expected for the house to age a bit. It’s only natural.
The stucco lining was cracked apart, as if a sledgehammer had slid across it. Cracks spiraled in every direction, and there was a large white space where the stucco used to be.
In over eleven years, I hadn’t noticed this.
I took a bite out of my sandwich, studied the wall, wondered how long it took to deteriorate, why it deteriorated. I’ve already given the answer. It’s age. The stucco grew so brittle, so fast, it gave way.
Chilled, I took another bite out of my sandwich and looked at the sidewalk beneath my feet. It wasn’t broken, but it was grimy; dirt filled the cracks, so much so even ants didn’t want to traverse the terrain.
‘Nother victim of age, of life inevitably having its way.
Around then, I finished my sandwiches, started in on my Tostitos chips. Bite came after bite, and I couldn’t get age out of my mind. It frightened me, made me reflect on all those times I’d walked past the stucco and the sidewalk without the least consideration for their appearance.
I got to thinking about my life and how I’m halfway through being eighteen; my, what a fast ride it’s been. Pictured myself as an old man sitting on the front porch of his own home, wondering where the hell the time went.
Maybe I’ll be a grandfather. Maybe I’ll be alone.
If I’ve learned one thing so far, it’s that life doesn’t work in predictions. You can guess all you want, but every event is determined by how you approach it firsthand. So, fortune telling’s bullshit.
I hope I won’t be alone, and I hope I don’t pass by this short life as if I were walking past a section of cracked stucco. That’d be sad. Worse, it’d be a waste of each day and month I remain here.
I try my best, though, cherish the small things. Hard work’s gotta count for something.
Photo Cred: M.C Escher