Small Acts — An Original Essay

A hummingbird feeder hangs off the branch of a tree in our backyard. It’s small and simple and, so far as I can tell, only one hummingbird currently visits it. But I keep my eye on it and make sure it stays filled, and try not to let the nectar get too old. It’s important to me, for reasons that are not necessarily about the feeder itself.

What that feeder has meant to me the last month or two goes well beyond what one might expect, and it plays into the challenges this year as a whole has brought to me, as well as to so many others. Coming to the end of 2020, I’ve been reflecting on why this year has proven so hard at times (aside from the obvious reasons). I also have been thinking on how I could make it better, and what may come next.

I have yet to figure it all out. I’m glad this year is coming to an end, though, in all honestly, I’m concerned about what may be yet to come in 2021. However, I hope that in reflecting back on what happened to me in 2020, I am figuring out some better ways to approach whatever challenges may be in the offing. My original essay “Small Acts,” which I have made available free and in full right here, is an opening move in my grappling with the events of the last year and what I’ve learned from them. This is just a start; there’s more yet to think through; but I hope there are a few bits of wisdom in its musings.

In publishing it here, I have also—finally—launched all sections of this website. From the Stories page, to Fragments, and now to Essays, there is a bit of me and my writings all over the place here. There is, of course, also more to come: another story I am working on, and developing ideas for two more essays. In the meantime, I hope you will explore this site in full if you haven’t already, and I hope you’ll consider sharing it with others.

You can read “Small Acts” here. I hope you like it, and please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

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