It’s Easter morning and I am alone in my kitchen, cooking a breakfast for one. I am watching myself prepare the tomatoes as they go into the pan, satisfied that they have just the right amount of seasoning, and are spread evenly beside the bacon for maximum exposure to the heat. I reach for the eggs, and am fleetingly startled by their beauty as they nestle harmoniously in the bowl. I hesitate before taking one, aware that it’s removal will affect the balance of the whole, but I must eat and the anticipation of the meal overrides my moment of uncertainty.
I pick up the largest egg and hold it in the palm of my hand, closing my fingers around it briefly to feel its sculptural form. I look at it carefully, marveling at the perfection of it’s shape and the colour and texture of it’s shell, and I have a sudden flashback to my childhood in Harare, where as a very young girl I would go into my brother’s bedroom and stand before a bank of beautifully made, wooden specimen cabinets …little chests of drawers, with two rows of small round knobs that went vertically down either side. The drawers were slim and inviting, and I would hesitate momentarily, deciding which shelf to pull out first. I remember the sound of the drawers sliding open and the moment of delight as the contents were revealed. The entire drawer was divided into small compartments, and in each were small nests of perfectly coloured eggs, some speckled, some plain in a whole array of hues, all neatly labelled with the name of the bird that produced the relevant egg. It was one of those moments of childhood, where the perfection of Nature was magically,unexpectedly revealed.
So as I return to the egg in my hand, I realize that this appreciation is not something new, but has always been there and was nurtured by the small, pale blue, speckled eggs that to me were the best in my brother’s collection. With the splatter of popping bacon, I am pulled back to the present and remember it’s Easter and that out in the world today, there are many more people thinking about eggs of different shapes and sizes.
As I eat my meal, I smile at my recollections and think about some of the other things I remember about growing up in a family with six brothers and sisters, each with their own particular collection of interests and fascinations, and I realize how much they have influenced me, often in ways that are so subtle they might never even know.
In a flash of clarity I realize that there’s no such thing as an insignificant word, action or moment, for everything in life, no matter how small, has the potential to influence both our own lives and that of those around us.