Small Stuff


It’s that time of year again — the week when we use this page to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for in our little corner of the world.

Of course, there are always the big things to remember (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) so we start with those — the roof over our heads, the food in our belly, the clothes on our back, and the job we (hopefully) still have that provides us with all those things. On Thanksgiving, let us be conscious of the fact that these are important items, for sure, and not necessarily ones that everyone else in the world has the fortune to possess. We’re thinking particularly of those still living in abhorrent conditions in Haiti nearly a year after the devastating earthquake struck there.

Then there’s good health. That’s a biggy in our world, especially for those of us approaching a new age bracket — because so many people don’t have theirs, and you never really know how good your own is until it’s gone (kind of like health insurance, when you come to think of it).

On a similar note, being thankful for family is also a no-brainer — even first graders put this one at the top of their turkey-week worksheet, just because they know they should. Like good health, it’s another one that becomes more obvious when it’s gone — and if you doubt it because you’re currently involved in a family feud of epic proportions, just wait. This is one you’ll really notice big time on holidays like Thanksgiving, especially that first year when there’s a new empty place at the table.

But beyond the big things, this year, we’d also like to tip our hat to the little things that can make a day. Caught up, as we all are, in routines with our heads down and our paces up – racing from task to task, many of us forget to take a moment to pause and just let it all sink in.

Yes, the big moments may make the news, but it’s the small moments that provide the spark of life and trigger the memories that will sustain us when all else fades. Noticing those little things is more important than you think, and it’s a major part of what makes us human.

Small stuff … it’s everywhere, once you know where to look. The magic of a brilliantly unexpected sunset that can mysteriously appear at the end of a rainy day. The smell of the sea breeze blowing in off the bay on the first warm day in spring. The sounds of sailboat rigging softly clanging during a night time walk on Bay Street. The absolute stillness of the woods in the midst of a major snowfall. The feel of a child’s hand as she drifts off to sleep, at peace in her world.

This is the true meaning of the season. So this week, as the annual bombardment of holiday ads revs up and begins invading your psyche with material comforts, try to remember what really matters. And once they’re open, don’t forget to keep your eyes focused on the real prize.