I was visiting with a friend the other day. He is a gifted and sophisticated professional.

In the course of our conversation, I asked how things were going in his life. He wasted no time in responding to my inquiry. I could tell he needed to express that which was on his mind.

For a considerable amount of time, he spoke of his frustration with his work — of how, after working hard and, sometimes long, he seemed to have accomplished very little.

“The days seem to be turning faster into weeks, and the weeks are turning faster into months … and suddenly, another year is gone,” he lamented. “And it is difficult to see I have made any difference.

“More and more I see it is the little things that bring real satisfaction. But even little pleasures don’t last long enough. Sometimes, I can be at a family reunion with all the people I care about, and it all seems wonderful — just perfect. But it doesn’t last. Or, I can be with one of my grandchildren enjoying a special moment, and something messes it up. I get pulled away, or someone calls.”

I added, “Or, a distressing thought drops into your head.”

He agreed … “Exactly.” he agreed.

I added, “My mother used to say it would be great if we could bottle up those special moments and the feelings they engender. Then, later , we could uncork the bottle and take a sip.”

He said, “Your mother was right.”

I added, “I think it was Henry David Thoreau, who said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ ”

He said, “All too true. You know, it says, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth.’ I believe that is true, because the less you have, the more you appreciate little things.”

There was wisdom in his words.

That conversation got me to thinking about little things.

I love the spring of the year. In my opinion, there’s something about spring that takes your breath away. Everything seems so … new.

Buttercups and budding trees and newborn calves and returning birds give spring a quality all its own. And I enjoy the beautiful green color of the Tennessee hills this time of year and the feel of the air after a spring rain.

They are a little things, but I am on a mission to spot those feasts for the eyes. To enjoy life’s little pleasures, you have to pay attention.

We have seven grandchildren now. Three are already in school. Four are in pre-school. Each of the seven is a special little person. They remind me of blooming flowers in spring.

My wife, Kathy, and I have three sons. When people see the oldest and youngest, and they say, “You’re a McCall.” When they see our middle son, Jonathan, they say, “You’re a Bratton.”

Since all three of our sons live close by, they are always coming and going. Each has his own way of showing his affection.

Someone has said, “Little things don’t mean a lot. Little things mean everything.”

A single flower, showing off its beauty ... a baby’s laugh … the smile of a friend … a warm hug or a kiss on the cheek … sometimes, the littlest things are the biggest things.

Copyright 2021 by Jack McCall

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