Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dead Leaves, Twigs and Other Things

Ada brought home a dead leaf.

A few days ago, Ada brought home a dead leaf. A few days before that, she brought home a twig. Seems to me that she brings home anything she finds on the road on the way back from school. She likes picking things up and planning what to do with them. She wanted to dry the dead leaves. I told her that I've got a flower and leaf press at my other house. I'd bring it for her next week. Ada smiled and skipped happily away. 

The yayas don't seem to get why Ada loves picking up stuff from the road and bringing them home. For the yayas, a dead leaf or a twig is just kalat. Basura. Another piece of garbage to throw away. But why did Ada bring it home? For Ada, a dead leaf had to be brought home because she wanted to dry it and preserve it. A twig had to be picked up from the road because it looked pretty.

I almost asked Ada, 'Why are you bring those things home?' She has a lot of toys. She has a lot of books. She can watch TV. So why bring home those things that might have germs and are things that no one really wants? And then I remembered that when I was a kid, I brought home crazier things. I would go on walks and bring home baby frogs, rusty Coke cans, dirty slippers and lots of trash.

And then I recalled something Roald Dahl said. I can't find the exact quote. But it was something like, 'To understand kids, you got to spend a week on your knees and see things from their point of view.' I remember thinking when I was eight years old  that it was such a silly quote. I think that I kinda understand the quote now.

Ada is much shorter than me since she's only six years old. She's able to see things on the road better than a teenager like me. She still thinks that cars and trucks are scary. Of course, she's so small. I'm sure that the cars and trucks look so huge to her. She's nearer the ground. That must be why she finds dead leaves and twigs more interesting than a pretty gate or a fancy car that I try to show her.

If the ground was life and the things on it were events that should not be ignored, I sure have missed out on a lot of things. Instead of looking down to see the details, I've been looking up to see the bigger picture. Everyone tells you to look at life from a different perspective; from the bigger picture. That's the most common perspective. The bigger picture. Garbage.

Maybe you gotta look at life's details to better appreciate the bigger picture. You gotta stop to pick up dead leaves and twigs along the way to remind you to check out the details sometimes. Sometimes we get so caught up with the final product we forget about the process to get there. We get so caught up with life that we forget to live it. We tend to just keep walking on and on. We just want to get to the end. 

Now, I look at the ground when I walk.

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