Daily Archives: December 21, 2016

Feeling Small



Well, sure, I guess there are plenty of reasons why I could feel small.

First, my stature. I am exactly 60 inches tall. All of my brothers and sisters, once they reached their full growth, were taller than me. Except for Sheila. She was the largest of my mother’s babies, and the smallest adult. Because I was one of the oldest children, all of the younger ones were still shorter than me. My mother stood barely 4′ 8″ tall.  Mostly, as a child, I never felt short. Except on group picture day, of course, when my height would determine my position in the composition. And during the Christmas pageant, when my size relegated me to the role of the mouse (as in, “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse”). Of course, as an adult, I realized I was smaller than most people. People come in all sizes, though; it was rarely a shocking difference. Working as a waitress, I was surrounded by seated people, so height was not important. Most of the time, it isn’t an issue.

Second, I’ve been sick. Whatever this is, whether virus or infection ot a combination of the two, it has really had a hold on me. I’m getting better, but it has been a long haul. Illness always makes me feel small and weak. Everything seems harder, from waking up in the morning, to getting to sleep at night. And all things in between.

Third, I’ve been grouchy. I like to think that’s not my usual nature, but I have to admit, when I am ornery, I feel very comfortable with it. Maybe it is my true nature, and – when I’m not trying to function with lack of sleep, illness and too much stress – I just suppress it. I do feel small, and sorry, and ashamed of myself, when I take my bad mood out on others. I have spent a lot of time apologizing lately.

Fourth, I have been called out for my grouchiness. Then, it seemed I was not just cranky, as I thought, but annoying, heartless and mean. That made me feel very small.

Actually, though, what has made me feel small these last few days, are the fall skies. Enormous clouds in dramatic formations loom over the island this time of year. The winds cause them to shift and roll, revealing sunshine for an instant, and showing patches of blue sky beyond. Everything is dwarfed by their presence. Clusters of houses look like they came from a Monopoly board. Tall trees seem tiny against the big sky. Our world has become a miniature landscape, and we are all small specks within it.