“We have a knowledge of harmony, anchored deep within. It is this knowledge that enables us, at every instant, to apprehend quality in our lives and, on the rare occasions when everything is in perfect harmony, to appreciate it with the apposite intensity. And I am not referring to the sort of beauty that is the exclusive preserve of Art. Those who feel inspired, as I do, by the greatness of small things will pursue them to the very heart of the inessential where, cloaked in everyday attire, this greatness will emerge from within a certain ordering of ordinary things and from the certainty that all is as it should be, the conviction that it is fine this way.” ― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
As I was watching today the movie “L’hérisson”, a movie inspired in the wonderful book The Elegance of the Hedgehog, the meaning of the silences, the beauty of the detail, the wise and sometimes sombre reflections of characters brought some sorte of peaceful pleasure and content.
The same as the book, the movie impelled me to reflect about the eternal subjects of life, death, the beauty of the small things, the appearances… Not very in the mood of the frustrating subject of the appearances, I nested my thoughts about life and death and what’s all that about.
Curious how the same fact, a dead, can be unsettling or just a peaceful end. It’s not the death itself what is sad, but how you feel when you do, or the life you lead until you die.
Few weeks ago, my cousin died of malaria. He was a young guy of 37 years old. The truth is that after the shock when I received the news, I was sad mainly for the people he left behind, his parents and brothers, but not because he was dead. Let me explain. He lead the life he wanted. He devoted his whole life to others and when he died he was exactly where he wanted to be doing exactly what he wanted to do: he died young, yes, but he died having the happiest days in his life, helping as a missionary in Guinea.
Am I sad about his death? Yes, because you only wish a long fulfilled life to those you care about, but at the same time I found peace thinking that death it’s only the end of a life, and what matters it’s not death but what you have done with your life and what you were doing when you did.
As the Renné in the movie, my cousin died in utter happiness and fulfillment. It’s then when death is not scary anymore, when stop living is part of life. If you asked me now if I am scared of dying I would honestly answer no. Because I am leading the life I want, the best life I can, and my only concern would be for those who love me because their pain is the only thing in this world I want to avoid.
And having the best life is not about big things, is about being in harmony, pleased with what you are and what you do, when you wouldn’t change a thing, when you are not waiting or hoping for better days.
When one appreciate that “greatness of the small things” that fill drop by drop our glass of life, when this ephemere moment becomes an always, an everlasting memory that will bring you joy in your death bed. Seek for those moments and let the world, your world, be part of them, because they are going to be your bliss at the end and the relief to those who will remain without you.