The current year can be described as depressing, dark, filled with hatred and fear, and quite possibly, the end of the world. There have been wildfires, murder hornets, a pandemic and riots.
But even with all of this, there are moments of beauty, moments worth admiring, moments where we can smile.
According to Goodreads, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a Unitarian minister from a few years back, said, “Life is just like an old time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed,” which I feel describes life quite accurately.
But what are these “beautiful vistas?”
Some people would say it’s getting married, a grand moment to be remembered forever; some would say it’s having your team win the Super Bowl, a moment to cheer and revel in happiness; some would say it’s getting your dream job at your dream company, a chance to make a name for yourself and get somewhere in the world.
While those things are great, I believe we can find the beautiful vistas somewhere a little closer. It’s in the little moments, the times where we can sit and smell the flowers, listen to the rustling leaves or just relax on our old couch.
In fact, every time I see someone do the small things, like run through sprinklers, they have a smile. They have the most relaxed and satisfied look brightening their face.
At the risk of sounding cliché, Gandalf put it nicely in The Hobbit movies, when he said, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
So why is it whenever we look for happiness, we go on adventures? Why do so many think we need a spouse to be happy, or a job or money? Why can’t we be satisfied with the little things “that keep the darkness at bay,” like walking in the sun or feeling a breeze through our window? These things cast darkness out of our lives, especially the darkness that is ever-present this year.