I love the quotes that talk about appreciating, seeing and being grateful for the little things. When people talk about “Little things” they are referring to a small gesture, a nice time with loved ones, a little moment or event that maybe gave an “aha” feeling. Those moments and feelings that may be missed because we are waiting for the “Big” things to come along, like a promotion, winning the lottery or an exotic vacation. The common thought is that without the big moments, we have nothing. But the truth is that all the little things are the stepping stones to guide us to the big things that truly matter.
I have realized that when I have failed to appreciate the little things, it is because of my own doing, not because they are not happening. It is my own negativity, pessimism, selfishness or when I want things to happen to me in a hurry. Also it’s when I spend any time looking at the other side of the fence.
In a previous job, one of my assignments was to drive from the office to a barge where potential employees would be tested as welders. My duty was to walk with them from the front gate to where the testing took place and wait for them to go thru the test.
My co workers at the office warned me about how bad this assignment was. Nobody wanted to do it and since I was the new person it was given to me. Most of the time the people scheduled to do the testing wouldn’t show up, which resulted in waiting at the gate on a hot day for a long time. Of course that sounded unpleasant and if it was unpleasant for others who had done it, the potential of being unpleasant for me was there too.
The first time I was sent on this assignment I didn’t know what to expect. So as any first time experience, it was interesting to me, and everything went well. I had forgotten what people had said, and warned me about it. But as time went by, I began to see why my co workers didn’t like the job. I remember all the negative comments.
One of those mornings when I was sent to meet a group of potential employees, nobody showed up. I was waiting at the gate for the workers. Fifteen minutes had passed from the agreed upon meeting time. I contacted the office to let them know and they instructed me to wait there. They were going to contact the potential employees and find why they have not shown up. So I stayed put at the gate of the barge and waited.
As I stood under the hot sun sweltering in the humidity many negative thoughts were going through my mind. This thoughts were creating a bad feeling about the assignment just like I have been warned by my co workers.
I was embarrassed at having shown up to an appointment that my company had made with the barge management, with no workers to present to them. I began thinking about all the paperwork and projects I had waiting for me at the office that I could be doing instead of being there baking my brains. All those thoughts were running through my mind, and my patience was running out.
After a few minutes of feeling the anger building, I realized that I needed to do something. I couldn’t change my situation, but I could change my attitude. Instead of being there all mad and waste the moment being sorry for myself, I decided to find something positive to do. After all, I was likely to find myself in that same predicament many times in the future.
At that moment I decided to distract my mind. Instead of thinking about the negative part of my situation, my new goal became a search to find beauty and peace in my surroundings. As I stood there leaning on the door of my car, I drew an imaginary perimeter of about ten square feet around me.
I grabbed my cell phone and without leaving the spot where I was I began to shoot pictures, first of the horizon around me, then of the buildings, then of the trees.
At one point, I looked down at the grass, noticed the dew, knelt down and began shooting pictures of dew drops. Then I noticed there were tiny clover flowers. I shot those. I looked even closer and saw even tinier flowers, all different colors and the more I looked the more that I realized that I was standing in a micro garden of tiny beauty.
I was in awe to see all that existed around me and that I had never noticed before. The closer I got to a tiny flower or a dew drop, the more I discovered. By zooming in with my camera, I captured some beautiful photos of this intricate tiny world. I will be forever grateful to those workers who never showed up.
After forty five minutes I was called back to the office. In those forty five minutes, I had captured images of why life had led me there. That moment a new passion was born inside me. A passion for pictures of the micro world that lives around us. I have been blessed with the discovery of a new world and a new beauty.
Instead of pouting, stomping my feet and crossing my arms, I decided to change my attitude. I change an unpleasant moment into a positive moment. Because of that conscious change of attitude, I was able to appreciate, in a literal way, the tiny little things!
The pictures in this blog, are the those that I took that morning. From that moment on I have shot some of the most amazing pictures of the designs of nature in the tiny little things.
Photos by Sandi Gamblin
Editing by Randall Gamblin