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.


About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

3 responses »

  1. You tiny little thing! Feeling small can be an insightful thing, as in feeling small in the universe, or a humbling thing, as in saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. When it comes to stature, I can’t relate. From as long as I can remember I’ve been tall. I appreciate that now because I know I’ll start shrinking will begin pretty soon. I can spare a few inches.

    • Yes, I think the taller you are, the more you shrink with age. My grandmother was easily 5’10 in her prime. The last time I saw her, in her late eighties, she was shorter than me! Thanks for reading, Sara, and for your comments!

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