My mother, Elsa, is always cleaning out some cupboard or box in her house. Recently she found a tea-set she played with as a child. This tiny little collection is fragile but un-knicked. Each piece is still perfect.
When I think of 'fragile', I focus on tea-sets, fine china, heirloom platters that are pulled out for the Thanksgiving turkey. I think of my aunt's Waterford crystal aperitif glasses she would use when all the adults gathered for a celebration or funeral. I remember sternly being told to handle the glasses with care as I hand washed and dried them. They were fragile...
But many 'things' are fragile. My niece's feelings are very fragile. A sharp word or misunderstood email has her in tears.
A bird's nest blown out of a bush is fragile. The eggs all exposed, two of them cracked, one other still intact - all are fragile. When I bent to pick it up, I did so with a gentleness I rarely feel or use in daily tasks.
And the neighbor's 6 year old son, Zane - when he fell off his brand new two wheel bicycle, his crumpled body appeared so fragile on the sidewalk. Zane's arms were spewed over his head; his skinny legs were locked in the spokes of the rear tire; and his silent tears were louder than any scream I have ever heard. He was so fragile!
Earlier this week, when my husband had surgery, I saw a fragile side of him. After waiting what seemed like hours to see him, I was lead back to his bedside. His eyes were closed. Oxygen was still hooked up, an IV tube continued to pump fluid into his veins on his right hand. His left hand was folded across his chest. It looked so fragile. This strong, steady hand was slack and unmoving.
Suddenly, everything about E. was fragile.
And always will be.
e.e. cummings said it so well in his poem
(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens;only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
And now I believe rain can be fragile, too.