“Do the small things stop you in your tracks?” asks Jess Kovach of Apopka, Florida. She recounts the following story:
I am noticing as I slow down during this pandemic that small things are moving me greatly. This morning I was walking through my yard in a hurry and was stopped when I almost stepped on a small tail from a Southern Flying Squirrel. I have always wanted to see one flying from tree to tree at night and just haven’t yet. This tiny tail moved me to tears. I thought of the loss of this tail, the tiny animal’s communication with others, helping it balance as it flies from one tree to another.
I held this tail in my hand, and it was so soft, delicate, so flexible and yet fragile. The little tail moved me to create an act of beauty. I circled it with the brightest colored flowers from the garden and placed the tail at the base of a tree I am sure this flying squirrel knew well. It felt good to cry and to honor this little tail today.
The next morning Jess got a surprise:
I walked out this morning and the tail was gone! This work of attending wounds and creating acts of beauty is really powerful. Maybe the tail was a meal or bedding for a newly built nest…so many thoughts come through.
Like Polly Howells’s story of the beheaded turkey that we featured in Radical Joy Revealed two weeks ago, this tale reminds us that, when we make an act of beauty for a wounded place or being, we are only the first artists. Rain, wind, animals, waves, even traffic and other people will come along and redesign what we have done. That is entirely as it should be. It
- IMG 0208: Jess Kovach