When I was a little girl and things looked bad, my papa used to talk about the big picture. It was his way of explaining to his hurting child that what seemed dark and gloomy at that moment was actually a tiny part of a big picture full of colour and light that we could not see. It was his way of explaining the mystery of life, the presence of a higher Being and the reason of the fleeting woe.

The little girl was satisfied and ran off with a smile on her face. The teenager was more difficult to assuage and did turn rebellious but ultimately had to concede to its wisdom, the woman found the solace she often needed. The big picture became a part of my life and I found myself often referring to it to explain situations that defied logic.

Yet when I was dealt with a blow recently I was momentarily taken aback and wallowed in despair, giving undue importance to what was just one tiny splash of dark hue on the harlequin picture that I conveniently had obliterated. My thoughts ran helter-skelter trying to reverse the situation forgetting that time moves but in one direction. For that moment in time I had forgotten all about the big picture.

But mercifully better set prevailed. I must have given my frenzied mind a tiny break as I found myself hearing my papa whisper “look at the big picture“. I had forgotten all about it in the moment I needed it the most. We often are guilty of not practicing what we so readily preach. I remember some years back when I was trying to battle local slumlords and wondering why we had been hit by such a storm, a friend simply reminded me that one should not bang one’s head on a close door but simply look for an open window. Yet one often realises that in spite of the all the wisdom one pretends to have, one easily forgets past lessons.

I am at a crossroad I stood at before. Sadly so lost was I in my hubris that I forgot to make a simple journey into past days to imbibe lessons once learnt and draw strength from the fact that we moved on and prospered as somewhere the big picture stood strong.

I know that in spite of the gloom that surrounds me and threatens to devour me, it is just part of a big picture I cannot see but know exists. The storm will blow, the clouds lift and the big picture will once again manifest itself in all its glory. One just has to hold on.

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