A good friend of mine always tells me that life is in the details. I met him at a mutual friend’s wedding. I had heard stories about him and all of the successes he had had throughout his life, but when he walked into the reception hall and introduced himself, I was quite surprised. He was shorter than I expected and had more energy than most of the room combined. He moved quickly and gracefully around the room, taking note of every detail. When you strike up a conversation he becomes a part of your stories, quizzical and curious about each part. I initially found it overwhelming.
As I got to know him, his curiosity only increased with time. He has a beautiful zest for life and finds fascination with each passing second. He is a world traveler and resides near my parent’s house with hundreds of trinkets and stories from his visits around the world. During the first tour around his house, he showed me his portraits from Africa, his desk from Europe, and memoirs from Asia.
As he recounted a detailed story about a dinner with business colleagues, he told me that life is in the details. I said, “Of course it is.”
He looked at me with a hard stare and replied, “You don’t understand what I mean. Let’s go snowshoeing tomorrow. I’ll meet you at your house.”
Sure enough, he hiked over to my house and we started our adventure. Snow had fallen the night before, leaving a winter wonderland of about six additional inches. We walked to the end of my road and onto a snowmobile trail on state land. He then said we were following some very specific directions:
- Take a left at the third rusty barrel.
- Take a right at the dilapidated trailer.
- Pass between the lake and the lean-to.
- Take a right at the twisted tree.
- Walk up the railroad tracks until the second closest mile marker.
As we ventured along, the snow gave way beneath our snowshoes with each footstep. There was a momentary lull in conversation. The chilly wind whispered across our faces telling us stories of the creatures nearby. The sun peeked through the trees, glittering as it touched the snow covered branches. Birds sang in jubilant song, rejoicing at the temperature above zero degrees Fahrenheit. Two deer rustled in the distance, peacefully eating a frozen green snack. My breathing slowed to the pace of the wind and my feet stood firmly rooted to the snow. The world became one continuous mirage of wonder as I took in every minuscule detail. I was simply a part of nature, nothing more, nothing less.
My friend smiled mischievously as he looked at the expression on my face. He said, “That is what I mean. If you don’t take the time to see the little things in every second as you live your life, you will miss the truly awe-inspiring things that happen around you everyday that make life worth living.”