Little Details are So Important, Make Sure You “Stand and Stare!”

Details, Details, Details!! Do you ever feel overtaken by details?  Sometimes my life seems like one long stream of details.  Some carefully adhered to, some missed, some ignored and all with consequences!

My day job is accounting.  When you work with the numbers and activities within a time period, the reports are only as good as the input or details that have been included.  Leave out any tiny component and your results will be skewed.

My husband is now retired and loves spending some of his spare time re-arranging the living room furniture to see how long it takes me to discover what was moved.  While I am a detail-oriented person, this can sometimes take me awhile! Often I am so into the cerebral, since I deal with facts all day, that I miss the visual details of beauty or change around me.

Details in our jobs are of paramount importance.  But the small details of the rest of our lives are equally important.  How sad if we miss them…

Vladimir Nabokov said: “Caress the detail, the divine detail.”  So, which details will I give the greater importance?  Will the cold hard details of my job be my total focus, making me be blind to the details of beauty, nature and family which are the God-given blessings of our life?

Divine details… Here are a few I saw just today.  See if you relate…

*Bella, our dog, has this uncanny sense of my moods and is the epitome of a totally faithful, totally structured creature. When she gets the nod from Lou, she hurls herself down the sidewalk with breakneck speed in obvious joy to greet me at lunch and in the evenings when I arrive from work. She reminds me of how God must feel when we are anxious to spend time with Him each day!

*The hummingbirds fight over the feeder.  The bull-nosed one always wins. It makes me think of how persistence and not giving in easily is such a blessed attribute. Sometimes we need to be bull-headed to protect the precious.

*The first strawberries of the season always taste better. God-given gifts such as this, my favorite fruit, can even seem blasé when you get it too often or too easily.

*There’s a wonderful little black and gray bird who seems to accompany me each day on my morning walk.  He lights close by here and there all along the way.  He reminds me of angels.

*If you pick your green beans every few days they keep producing for a long time.  If you ignore them, new blooms cease and soon there are no more beans.  The treasures this life offers, including relationships, need attention and nourishing or they can wither and die.

Ponder this wonderful poem:

“WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
by W.H. Davies

Remember how I said ignoring details has consequences?

What if WE “have no time to stand and stare”?

Like the green beans that don’t get picked, will the beauty of life just disappear for us?

May it never be so!

In dealing with the necessary details, always make time for the divine ones.

Are you making time “to stand and stare”?

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Molly grew up in and around funeral homes her entire life. In 2009 she began working for O'Connor Mortuary and found a bridge between her passion for writing and her interest in grief and bereavement. In 2016 she earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. She is honored to be able to write about these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective.


  1. Sharon says:


    I loved the poem and the rest of your thoughts. I too am a big believer in taking the time to stop and smell the roses, the fresh air or look at the beauty around us each day. I especially am drawn to big, billowey clouds!

    I especially liked your statement – “If you pick your green beans every few days they keep producing for a
    long time. If you ignore them, new blooms cease and soon there are no
    more beans. The treasures this life offers, including relationships,
    need attention and nourishing or they can wither and die.” I find this statement to be so true of relationships in general. The ones we truly care about have to be nurtured to last. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to keep it going, but it does take some effort or they die!

    I always enjoy reading your thoughts. They inspire and lift me.

    I appreciate your friendship.


    • Anne Collins says:

      I have been in situations relationally that are like the unpicked green beans and then have to realize that a ton of sudden water will just drown them, not repair anything that was neglected.
      Thank you Sharon for following me. I so appreciate you and your friendship also. Anne

  2. Amy says:

    I look forward to your posts. They are always heartfelt and uplifting. What a good reminder to slow down and take it all in. Makes me keep it in perspective.
    Thanks for the poem too!

    • Anne Collins says:

      Thank You for taking time to follow. We who post are so vulnerable in a way and it means a lot to get the comments. Keeps us going, so to speak, since this is a new venture for all of us. I absolutely loved that poem when I found it.

  3. Greg Forster says:


    You have put this life struggle in such compelling words.

    Your words themselves, after I finished reading this piece, made me push back my chair and just STOP.
    Aren’t you blessed that you realize the value of large things, of small things, of things that happen quickly and those that happen slowly, of those that are apparently beautiful, and those that hide their beauties inside. Things that you can see, and those you can only hear.

    We have all heard of those who are missing one of their 5 senses, and we feel sorry for them. But sometimes, they say “Wait…don’t feel sorry for me…because losing one has made my others more acute than yours. I may be blind, but in other ways, I can “see” more clearly than you!”

    I remember a book that I still have from the 70’s and only partially read. It was called “FutureShock”, and dealt with how technology would speed things up in our lives to the point where the future would keep hitting us with itself and we would stress out with our frustrations of trying to keep up. It didn’t give me exactly very good feelings about being adequate, but I was a young guy and said “I’ll believe it when I see it”, only to realize later that I had already been living it.

    Don’t ever lose the ability to just let yourself go, wherever you are, and JUST…SAY..WOW!

    P.S. …and if that sweet innocent little bird gently alights on a branch directly above you, for GOD’S SAKE…don’t STOP and STARE!

    Best to you, Greg

    • Anne Collins says:

      Oh Greg!
      Number one, you should be on our blog team. You have such a way with words. And thanks for your warning. Can’t imagine bird _ _ _ _ in the eye!

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