Reading in Sanctuary. With Chia.


Susan comes in with a spray bottle. I lift my head, but otherwise don’t move, following her silently as she moves across the room. She waters a small green plant on a white marble end table. She leaves. I drop my head back to my reading.

I’m in the Sanctuary. Sunday mornings and the end of each working day. The bedroom door closed; I’m on the bed. Zeke, with his head between his paws, is snoozing and leaning into me. We’re in the decompression chamber.

I glance over to my right.
I have never seen that plant.
I have never seen that end table.

I’m in the middle of Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids” and recall a line that stuck: “Nothing is finished until you see it.” Thank God for me for that. There’s a lot left to See.

Susan’s on the ground floor. I send her a text.

“How long has that plant been there?”
“Really, Dave? It’s been there for over a month.”

One month? It’s five feet away. I didn’t know it existed. I send a follow-on text.

“What about that end table?  How long has that end table been there? Where did that come from?”

I wait for the flashing dots on iMessage indicating a pending response. None arrives.  My fingers tap on the keyboard, impatient.  A mist of an earlier conversation flies by. She’s told me, maybe twice, or three times. I contemplate re-sending the message but elect not to.  It’s Sunday morning. Let’s not agitate the decorator with questions related to cost or the King’s role in the decision.

I send her another text – so much easier than yelling down a floor. I marvel at technology.

“What kind of plant is that?”  It looks like a Chia Pet.  You know Chia Pets, the ones blasting on infomercials during the holidays.

I wait for the flashing dots.  Here they come . . . . . . . . . she sends me a web link.

I note our new communication medium.  No talking. No words. We trade web links.  Google has become God.

I hit the web link to learn it is a “Delicate Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum).” Aka, Chia Pet.

I move back to my reading. A Simple Man with his Dog in their Sanctuary.  Reading on the bed, with a book and a live wifi-connection. I find my place in the chapter and re-start. I get to the bottom of the first paragraph, but don’t recall a word I read. I roll back and try again. Same outcome.

It’s Chia, out of the corner of my right eye. There she is.
Green against the white of the table.
Green against the white of the wall.
Chia’s shouting now: Lift your head up! Look around! See me!
Chia’s talking to me now.
Wow, there’s something to think about.

I go back to my reading but Chia is ever-present.
Chia, Chia, Chia.
I stare.
Beautiful, delicate green shoots dangle over the edge of the pot.
I think I’ve fallen in love with Chia.

The small things I love, have they any weight?” (Tomas Tranströmer)

Yes, they do. Yes, they do.



  1. Barneysday says:

    Reblogged this on Views from the Hill and commented:
    I can relate to this. I often “discover” changes or items many months after their origination. Sharp as a tack, I say! Nothing gets by me…eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ch ch ch chia. Didn’t know what they looked like once they grew past their bad hair days in the beginning.
    It took my getting in to photography to really start seeing the things around me; even the small things that can be so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Dave…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laughing! I can only imagine what clanking around in your head.


  5. Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This held my attention all the way through….. interesting! By the way, I like the lamp! Did you notice that? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mary Lou. Thank you. Smiling. I noticed a lamp but until today didn’t notice the miniatures cups that surrounded the base or much of the design. Unless it is edible or directly in front of my face, like a plow horse, I’ll largely miss most things. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s good to know that I am not the only one who texts their family in our two storey house! Glad you noticed your Chia, you may be surprised what you find, when you leave your man sanctuary!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So distracted by that photo. Thinking about how I’d ever clean/dust that lamp. Beautiful setting, though. I’d have noticed the clean lines…green on white.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Now, Ch ch ch chia is on loop in my head, having aced out Aretha Franklin, “(oo) What you want (oo) Baby, I got (oo) What you need (oo) Do you know I got it? (oo) All I’m askin’
    (oo) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)….” Aretha Franklin “Respect”
    Very calming, vignette. I like the matte white finish on the lamp and pot filled with grounding (Chia Green) The touch of gray in the white marble adds a subtle sophistication…and the man and the dog are enveloped in comfort….I wonder, if soon, thereafter, your focus drifted toward, desire for cookies and hot chocolate…..Ch ch ch chia

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love these “small moment” posts; you capture the whole event so clearly! this really just made me smile, for so many reasons! I love that you can see the beauty in a “Chia”!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fun Fun Fun! Except it looks so clean and pristine! I think If I had a hideaway like that I’d never leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. i love tiny things.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You probably are the ultimate big picture man, David. Unless it’s something sweet and edible. In that department, I know, you tend to notice the smallest crumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. what a great post. very amusing David 🙂 love that lamp, great design!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I wish Susan had a blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I sometimes count on my husband’s lack of observation when I change/redecorate 😄 Great lamp!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. OMG…I get so upset when someone is texting me in the same house from another room! What kind of world are we living in that we can’t get up and go look someone in the eye in the same house and talk to them? By the way, this all happens to me all the time. Be glad you don’t have to live with me. Sheesh! And some people don’t even notice the chia plant, the marble end table, and the lamp. But then, some people choose to be great writers instead… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I was drawn to your Chia 🙂 I have one that is not happy,
    beautiful Sanctuary you have there, I couldn’t do the texting though ( I have a very simple though process and texting doesn’t compute, some texts me I call them back 🙂 )

    I love this post, it is a natural smile

    Take Care..You Matter
    (Thank your wife for the link, I will have to venture there )

    Liked by 1 person

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