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
Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.

31 Comments

  1. Annette says:

    Anne, I think that being able to notice the small details are a gift. And in my own experience, one that comes with age. I used to love to take a lot of pictures, and being an amateur photographer helped me see the details in a lot of things I might not have seen at a younger age. My eyes are not what they used to be, and my camera now is a small digital point and shoot. But still I stop when out on walks or hikes, or drives, and try to look around and really SEE what is there. There is beauty everywhere, even in the mundane day-to-day.
    Thanks for your insight!

    • Anne Collins says:

      Annette
      You make a good point. A camera and a desire to capture the details of what is around us heightens our ability to “see” divine details. My husband is also a photographer so, I have always let him take the pictures. If I had my own point and shoot handy all these years, I might have seen more divine details. I recall one exploring walk in the woods along a path behind a sprawling tract of homes where we had just rented in MI years ago. It separated all the homes from a canal out to Lake Michigan. We kept seeing a different mushroom here and there. Lou had his camera of course and took closeups. When developed, we had about 20 totally different mushrooms, purple, black, brown, orange, tan, white, tiny round in clusters, big and puffy, flat like pancakes with latticed edges. We were amazed and made a wall collage of framed mushrooms while we lived at that house, to remind us of the beauty, just beyond the back yard fence. Thank you for following my blog. Welcome! Hugs!

  2. Molly says:

    Anne,
    I’m in love with the idea of “Divine Details”. I’ve been thinking a great deal about this post and the implications that “stopping and staring” could have upon my day. Yesterday I had some lovely moments, I was sitting outside at a dear friends house with a gorgeous view of the coast. I noticed:
    – The beautiful blue of the water: everytime I think about how blue it is I wonder if it’s from the sky of if the sky is blue from the water. I’m sure someone knows but I don’t.
    – The laughter: everyone was happily talking, laughing & sincerely enjoying the people around them.
    – The dog: my new friend Duke, a golden retriever, was so happy to be petted that he would plop his paws up on your arms and lean so far back in happiness you would have to catch him to keep him from tumbling. So funny & so much joy.
    – The friendships: these are very special people to me & the things we were able to share, learn from each other & laugh about are treasures of mine.
    It was a sparkling afternoon and even though there was a lot of movement & energy I still was able to take some “snapshots” in my mind that I have recalled for you here.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect & the idea to take this time in the first place.

    Love you!

    • Anne says:

      Molly
      You really did it!! I have been trying to do it, also. And thank you for sharing it here. I could see the water and the gathering of precious friends and experienced the joy with Duke. This is making us more “ALIVE”. As I get older, I feel so strongly that each day must count more fully in every possible way. Maybe it is just the times and younger people feel it too, not sure, but you definitely captured the divine moments of a divine afternoon.
      Love you, too!

  3. Patricia Kolstad says:

    Anne
    I’ve been reading the book “The Power of Pause” by Terry Hershey, and I realize that when I’m given moments I do “stand and stare” more than I thought. I spend most every week-end with Kristen, Jeff and the girls. Kristen is an incredible “farmer”. Her backyard is filled with delightful edibles that she has nurtured with her hands. One week they are buds and in a matter of days there is a harvest. I love her garden and all that it means to her family and the friends that are recipients of it. I also spend a lot of time watching my granddaughter Sofia. She has, more than anyone, taught me to be in the moment, take notice and relish in the simplicity of our lives. We waste way too much time agonizing over things we cannot change, or for missteps we have made. My Sofia has taught me that we all have flaws, we all have imperfections. But it is in those imperfections that we find our place. Our moment to stop, be still, and seek peace. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom.
    Lovingly,
    Pat

    • Anne says:

      Pat,
      The Power of Pause… The title sure fits what was on my mind. I would think you would be one to stand and stare when you can. You have such a wonderful, creative mind and I have seen the artistic results of your hand in the past, from beautiful calligraphy to hand-crafted things you made. To do that, you have to be able to really see detail. The beauty of nature and the miracles of our little ones provide such a rich landscape on which to stare.
      Love
      Anne

    • Anne Collins says:

      Pat,
      The Power of Pause… The title sure fits what was on my mind. I totally see you as someone who would stand and stare when you can. You have such a wonderful, creative mind. I have seen the artistic results of your hand in the past, from beautiful calligraphy to hand-crafted things you made. To do that, you have to be able to really see detail. The beauty of nature and the miracles of our little ones provide such a rich landscape on which to stare. Thank you for sharing things you have seen and the peace it has brought you.
      Love
      Anne

  4. Annie,
    I really look forward to reading your posts. Thank you once again for a brilliant read. I love to just stop and sit and take in my surroundings, especially when it involves nature. I have shared this love with my kids, and now when they spy a flower, dragonfly, hummingbird, or a cloud formation they believe would make me smile they are quick to bring it to my attention. My older kids will even go so far as to snap a pic and text it to me so I don’t miss out on the beauty. At times I have experienced a battle inside of me to get up and “do something” instead of staying and enjoying my time to stare. Recently I have found that on my evenings and weekends, I truly value that time after being in front of a computer for hours. Thank you for giving me the permission to enjoy these precious moments.
    Lots of Love,
    Kari

    • Anne says:

      Kari
      The byword you like to use is “lovemylife”. I think that is partly personal perspective, partly recognizing the blessings of God and a whole lot of “stopping and staring at the divine details” of your life and having the attitude of gratitude over them. When we can tenaciously hold onto the childlike wonder over the beauty of our surroundings, we truly can say “lovemylife”.
      Love you back,
      Anne

    • Anne Collins says:

      Kari
      The byword you like to use is “lovemylife”. I think that is partly personal perspective, partly recognizing the blessings of God and a whole lot of “stopping and staring at the divine details” of your life and having the attitude of gratitude over them. When we can tenaciously hold onto the childlike wonder over the beauty of our surroundings, we truly can say “lovemylife”.
      Love you back,
      Anne

  5. Shayna Mallik says:

    Anne,
    Thank you so much for this post. This, as all your posts, are so amazing to read and I always enjoy when I read them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.