I have the very good fortune of working on a beautiful campus where walking is encouraged and supported by the facility grounds (layout) and the organization (people/policies). I am able to take 1 and sometimes 2 quick walks in the middle of my work day when the weather permits.
On a walk this Summer when the temperatures were in the high-80s and low-90s I rediscovered the welcome shade of the occasional small tree. I marveled at how much the temperature dropped when I stood for a moment under even a very small tree, and how refreshed I felt after this brief respite from the sun.
In the midst of our busy lives – especially from the middle of Western (American) culture – it’s easy to become so obsessed with the end goal (the “big prize”) that we miss the small blessings along the way; like the job that allows and encourages walking and the small, leafy trees that provide a moment of shade.
I will be looking for more “small trees” along my way, and remembering to recognize them for the refreshing uplift they bring in the moment, and for the reminder that our journeys are made up of many small positive steps and that Life was not intended to be a forced march toward some grand prize.
Happiness is much less elusive when we can find it in the shade of small trees, and in the brief blessings before us in each of life’s moments.