It is hard for many of us, even soulful seekers, to take the idea of a faerie seriously. Yet we will easily agree many of the forces forming the warp and weft of our physical world and experience truly are smaller than small, highly unpredictable, and not ever completely understood.
Storytellers of old sing of a strange and destructive beast called Rumor – with its thousand wings and countless yellow eyes and mouths – and with Greed or Fear, Rumor could run rampant through a crowd touching one person after another until all were in the thrall and utterly bewitched. No, this is not something that still happens today. Or is it?
Faerie lore and a “preponderance of the small things” – as one of the hexagrams in the I Ching advises – is common to many different storytelling traditions, even though the names we use and the explanations we give may vary from place to place and time to time. I think the reason why must be because there is something true in these stories. The battle is not for the very big, but the very small and overlooked. We can best understand the very big, the very great, the very awesome and mighty by attending to the small, the humble, the everyday…by blessing the little ones, in all the ways they become manifest in our life.
The little actions we engage in every day, that together make up the sum of our days, our weeks, our years, our very lives – if our greatness is not rooted here, then where? The small acts, most often unseen, inexpensive for us in most ways, are apparently insignificant, but for some may mean the world because they lead to new possibilities, to fresh ways of seeing and thinking, and to the good medicines we carry in our hearts. This action, this way of living, is mostly quiet. It is not a crowd-pleaser, not an attention grabbing headline, does not stoke fires of division, but is rather much more interested in simply getting down to work and being of good help – not in intention only, but in a way that is truly productive. There is nothing more deeply revolutionary than this.
Of late much has been said about being big, thinking big, acting big. Then there is the ubiquitous phrase: Go big or go home, a phrase much loved by some of my people, Texans, and it captures the experience of confronting the massive quite well – you can allow yourself to swept up and lost in its powerful currents or you can go home. The unsaid part of course is that “losers” go home and “winners” go big. But do they really?
I am struck by the fact that the most famous journeys in literature, whether we speak of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, or the great Indian epic the Mahabharata, are all about returning home and going through the extraordinary effort to end up not in a position of more power or prestige, but rather to return home, to return to the beloveds, to a life filled with the little things: small, every day, seemingly insignificant, and deeply precious. In other words, they don’t go big, they go home; they go small. The big waves come and go; but it is the little ones – lovers touching, babies crying, work-finding, joy-making, and life-living that are perennial and ever present. The plants and flowers may change season to season but the root stock is sure.
I remind myself of this timeless truth when the world feels too big and fast, and the chasms feel too deep and wide to ever be bridged. The hidden roots remain, for they are tended to by the Little Ones, the least of us, that is, and the smallest acts we do, and the ways we live – in others words, by the very qualities and actions that true depth, vastness, and wonder most require. May the little ones be blessed in our lives ever and always.
Under the full moon and lunar eclipse in Leo on 2/10 there is a good opportunity to break any patterns that need breaking – including getting caught up in the too big and the too loud and neglecting the little. And so our divination questions focus us:
What is the small thing, the little one most asking for your attention and care right now?
What practical actions can you take to tend it?
In love and service,