the little things in life

once upon a time, a holiday like the fourth of july would have given me a small bit of anxiety. if i didn’t have plans to go out of town and “celebrate” in the conventional sense, i would have suffered that god-awful millennial disease of fomo. but with age comes maturity (well, for some, i guess) and an appreciation of life’s quieter moments. i spent the holiday with a very dear and special friend who currently lives in istanbul, but found herself back in new york unexpectedly. we picnicked in central park for hours and the day slipped away before i’d even realized it was a holiday and i hadn’t been to a barbecue nor had i donned a clichéd red-white-and-blue outfit. (not that there’s anything wrong with those things! just sayin).

i had gotten to the park about an hour before my friend, and set up shop underneath a large tree. i pulled out a copy of the happiness project that another friend had lent me, and settled in to read until my friend showed. i quickly became distracted by the flurry of activity around me: groups of tourists taking a break from sightseeing, dog people walking their furry friends; kids playing and shouting; couples strolling hand in hand. each site was heartwarming in its own small way. then this little birdie flew down and landed on the grass right next to my blanket. i was completely mesmerized by this creature for what felt like several minutes, while it hopped all over the grass, presumably looking for food. i don’t know what it was about that bird- maybe the fact that it didn’t have a care in the world? i have no idea what a happy bird looks like, but this little guy seemed pretty damn content. it was such a beautiful moment of being totally present and in the now, of appreciating nature in all its glory, and not wanting to be anywhere else, with anyone else, than there in the park with that little bird.

so: it’s the little things in life. i feel grateful that i’m learning the lesson to slow down and appreciate right now for all it’s glorious simplicity.