Over the years, I’ve found that it’s usually a series of little things that have a way of making you pause and savour; even pause and contemplate the oddities or action of that particular moment that captures your attention. If you’re receptive to noticing the little things, you may find that there are several occurrences during your busy day. My favourites are the little vignettes that springs up to make life interesting. And even if you find them annoying, hey, don’t sweat the small stuff—just let it go and remember to keep breathing without popping your blood pressure.
Whenever I can, I try to do a daily power walk. This is usually a 5 kilometer fast-walk that takes me through neighbouring streets, the Village and Bowker Creek Park. Sometimes I head in another direction that takes me along a scenic water view, million dollars estates with its lavish landscaping, the Marina with all its sail boats and yachts docked neatly side-by-side and a golf course that’s divided by a busy street. I find that when I walk, I can see things that are easily missed when I’m driving my car. Today I witnessed the mini-drama of a Dad teaching his 4 year old daughter to ride her bike. “Pump your legs, Carly. You have to keep moving your legs so your bike can keep moving too,” he encouraged. As his daughter got into the rhythm of biking, he casually let go of his hand steadying the bike. A moment of shocked silence and a happy shriek of, “Daddy, I’m biking all by myself!” For a parent, this would be a definite landmark, but for a casual passer-by, this is one of those little things that reflects one of Life’s happy moments.
I love stopping at different coffee-bars because each place has its own unique quality of coffee beans. And of course, each place has its own unique assortment of home-made pastries that goes with a good cuppa. I decided to pause at the Marina, the half-way point of my scenic water route. With my coffee in hand plus a warm sausage wrapped in flaky pastry, I sat at a small outdoor patio table, enjoying the warm sun and watching the dockside activity. At the next table, a young child of about three years, sat between her grandparents. The couple were enjoying their coffees and sharing a plate of French fries with the toddler. Their obvious joy and delight of having their granddaughter for a brief period was evident on the couple’s faces. Grandpa picked up a French fry, dipped it into the small dish of ketchup, popped it into his mouth and chewed with gusto. The tot’s eyes grew wide with wonder. Grandma passed a small piece of French fry to her granddaughter who carefully imitated her Grandpa by dipping it into the small dish of ketchup and popping it into her mouth, chewing with enthusiasm and apparent delight. Grandma was about to pass another French fry to her granddaughter, but a seagull waiting greedily for his moment, grabbed the French fry with his beak and triumphantly flew away. Seeing both her grandparents laughing at the antic of the seagull, the little girl laughed too. This was such a delightful family scene for it was impossible not to smile at the toddler’s introduction to French fries and scavenging seagulls.
My homeward route took me past the Scented Gardens. This is one of my favourite places to pause for each season brought scented flowers and fragrant shrubs for the enjoyment of people with low-vision and/or no vision. For those with vision, the colours, combined with the scents, creates a pleasant interlude. Whoever planned the garden made sure the scents were mere whispers, not cloying; it tantalized as its faint perfumes drifted by. It remembers a time past when people actually sat and enjoyed a beautiful garden.
Life’s simple pleasures are often little things that are taken for granted, unnoticed, yet there for anyone to enjoy.