COLUMN: The smallest treasures of life are simple joys

Nanaimo - Small wonders offer a piece of life's beauty.

Sometimes something as small as a clump of moss can be wonderful.

With a hectic schedule, deadlines and the pressures of everyday life, it’s easy to miss some of the smallest treasures we pass by every day.

During a walk at Neck Point Park I passed a clump of elfin-green moss. Each strand layered upon each other was like a little fern. And closer inspection revealed the leafy greens are similar to snowflakes.

The tiny leaves spike out in all directions. Not far away a small insect played in a puddle that formed after the mid-morning rain dumped itself onto Nanaimo.

Sitting and watching these small treasures as the birds chirped in trees nearby, I pondered on how many people take the time to just sit and amaze themselves with the small natural jewels around us.

Even the light that plays across the wall in my living rooms in the morning can be a wonder. It creates shadows and shades like an artist’s paintbrush on the white canvas of my walls. Each dawn brings a new discovery of simple shapes that could lead to small inspirations throughout the day.

It was Edgar Allan Poe who said, “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

Poe makes a beautiful point. I don’t interpret his dreams by day as people daydreaming, but more of people able to see things in a unique way.

It’s an artistic lens in which to view the world or perhaps it’s just the ability to hold onto a portion of childhood fascination that people try to make you put aside as you grow. Being able to see and appreciate small things should be something we all take into adulthood.

Yet, the frenetic pace of life steals the time to just sit down and take stock of what is around us. There are many times I think I am too tired or too busy to just sit and enjoy things, but those feelings can sometimes lead to regret, especially if it’s a sunny spring day and the next week is filled with rain. Too many commitments can eat up a person’s week and weekends can be full of other responsibilities and household chores.

It’s a vicious cycle of being too busy and too tired, but before you know it years have slipped by and you have been too busy to enjoy it. Too much overtime, too many times skipping lunch to get a deadline done and then going home and crashing because you burned out your body without giving it fuel.

All this hectic chaos leads to illness and unhappiness. It leads to the driver beside me weaving in and out of traffic, too impatient to get where they are going in due time.

They weave and tailgate and nearly hit the bumper of another car as they try to manoeuvre their way around the car in front of them. And then they just end up stopped at the same red light as me, two cars ahead. Their impatience really didn’t get them that much further.

So if I take just 10 minutes to enjoy a clump of moss on a walk after work it must be a good thing. Slowing down is what we all need.

It’s easy to pile on commitments and people will never have a shortage of others who want to occupy or steal their time, but those small moments are what makes every day something special.

Whether it’s a cloud in the sky or just a ray of light coming through the living room window, it’s important to take stock of them, because before you know it they are gone.