This past Saturday, I drove out to meet a friend in Orange County for dinner. Leaving from a class in Pasadena, I drove up the 210 to the 57. Though it had been incredibly rainy and gray all day Friday and even through early Saturday, by the afternoon when I started driving it was sunny and clear out. As I continued passing through Pomona, up to Diamond Bar, my normal tunnel vision while driving–opened up and I saw the blue BLUE sky out in front of me full of big puffy cotton ball type clouds in mounds EVERYWHERE. It was so beautiful and serene. The majority of the drive up the 57, rolling hills surrounded me on both sides, covered in trees —all freshly crowned with new greenery from the rain.

The feelings of grounded peace and contentment in my heart on that drive reminded me what a difference it makes to just get out of my normal, everyday environment (LA). How a different geographical location, even just an hour away, can also produce a profoundly different emotional state. For the first time since my childhood, I remember thinking, “I wish I could just reach up and grab a big chunk out of those clouds. I bet they taste like marshmallows!”

Last spring, I went to a nearby park one afternoon with a blanket, a large pillow and a book, intending to read on the lawn. Once I got myself situated, I laid down and found myself staring up at a sky full of clouds. What was weird though was that I was surprised by the fact that there were clouds up there! It’s like I had somehow forgotten that they existed! For the past 20 years of my life, I have been so busy studying and working and DOING that I haven’t taken the time to just look at the world around me–the place I live everyday–and appreciate it for what it is.

Now I am making more of a conscious effort to look up at the sky at least once a day. Because it really is the little things like clouds that make my heart happy, pretty much any time. That and surprise Boba teas from Renee. Weeeeee!

What little things always make you happy? What simple things in life do you forget to appreciate?

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