When I return from visiting her, I have with me a few branches to which small tomatoes cling, tiny figurines of my childhood idols, or little bracelets and colorful hair rubber bands and pins. Sometimes I have with me one or two dozen eggs that come from her own hens or an assortment of undergarments and socks as green as my own hair. Sometimes I return with zucchinis the size of clubs. But most of the time, what she carries in her bags— bags fitting perfectly one inside another—are the hundreds of tiny things that Yolanda considers truly important in her life.
Though almost ten years older than I, people who ask me about her seem to be asking about my little sister. Diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum later in life, typical of those in her generation, Yolanda has forged an independent life where surrounded by little things, she finds her raison d’etre and her way of sharing. Through the small things, those things that she could control, she understood and redefined a life that was never easy.
And she teaches me daily that, really, it’s the small rather than the large things that are a part of and shape one’s life. Those small everyday achievements and failures make one who one is. And it’s the little things that we often forget to celebrate, the things that live in our memory as magic moments full of life: the memory of pure feelings.
In this short column, in these one thousand seven-hundred characters and spaces, I will try each week to share the stories and experiences born out of living in limbo, in restlessness, in order to replenish the wellness born in the heart of society, in our way of celebrating and sharing the little great steps that make our day today.