The trouble with small things seemed to be that they only seemed small. A tiny sliver of her fingernail pretended to be the moon against the black fabric of her dress. Rinda stared at it and couldn’t stop, though the sight of it beat her mercilessly.
Small things accomplished magnificent deeds. Or resulted in tremendous failures. How?
How could a fingernail moon, lifted high in a night sky, far away and small press and pull at the mighty oceans rocking below?
How could a pen make a note on a page, then another and another until they became a collection, a beat that would ring through the air from the instruments of an entire marching band, powerful enough to rally an entire stadium of people, cheer a sports club to victory, or lend courage to a single man at bat? Or be played by a lone man with pipes and bring her stalwart, steady father to tears?
How could a structure made of stone and glue plug up a mighty river, but nothing could staunch the flow of their tears?
How could a small plug of grass carefully tended grow into a thick grazing field, and how could anyone stand to thrust a shovel into that and mar it with a grave?
How could a pen that once held countless milling sheep become empty and silent almost overnight?
How could a bat fly through a night sky and not know it spread catastrophic death and destruction?
How could she so sorely miss her mother’s hands? Why was it the glint of her wedding band, the careful manicure of her nails that Rinda remembered so vividly, so clearly. Not her smile, or her eyes, or her hair–copied with ease.
But no, it was her hands Rinda wanted. She longed for her own fingers to taper gracefully, appear delicate, yet perform the entire range of things her mother’s hands had accomplished: do equal justice to an ornate ring and a simple wedding band, brush a fly away with a skittering flick or a erase a tear with a featherlight brush, write a sympathy note or a shopping list with sweeping, fluid strokes, operate a hand-cranked printing press with skill, or wield a club so fiercely that the rug fastened to the line dared not stay dirty.
Small things. Small things that fueled a precious life. Small things she wanted so badly. Rinda wasn’t asking for wealth or fame or glory. She just wanted that small, specific part of her mother to live on in her. It was not a small thing to stop the worry that took over her mind and her will and before she knew it, tiny fingernail moons littered her black mourning dress. Followed by salted raindrops.
Prompt from: The Write-Brain Notebook by Bonnie Neubauer
All these words have two meanings [or more]. Use each word twice, once for each definition:
Start with: The trouble with…