It’s the Little Things Along the Way


Ice and snow crystals on tree branches – Walters Falls

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that “sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Seems like a bit of a contradictory statement for someone who does a fair bit of hiking, but for myself and I suspect many others this is likely the case. What I mean is………we get focused on the big scene in front of us…… know……..the view from the top of a cliff; a waterfall cascading over the edge of an embankment.

Now don’t get me wrong, these moments and destinations are great and more often than not, I find myself setting a hike based on the “view from the top of the cliff.” But after all that effort and sweat to get to the top of the waterfall, do we really stop and take the time to look at the small things.

How does the water splash against the rocks at the bottom of the fall? What patterns do the drops make?

Reading a recent article I came across this quote by C.K. Chesterton, “One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”

Getting to that cliff edge or to the base of the waterfall is a journey. You have to start at Point A and hike to Point B. We can get focused looking down the trail and only concerned about the destination.

What we forget is “where we are” on the trail.

At any point along the trail, there are wonderful things to discover if we take the time and effort to look for them. The key phrase is “time and effort.”

Torrance Barrens – pretty small marker – easily missed

If we take the time and search out the little things; the details of the journey, then a whole new adventure presents itself with limitless opportunities. If our mindset is only anchored on the reaching the “cliff view”, so much is lost along the way. If we slow down, those details that are in essence making up our journey to the destination can be found everywhere.

Stair treads to a stunning place – Jacobs Ladder @ Mono Cliffs
Abandoned VW bug – Simcoe County forest

A day’s hike is at its basic level made up of many, many steps. Our destination is the result of taking all those steps. The journey however, is made of the details found along the way.

Those details make the journey as important as the destination.


I love those “big peak moments.” Those cliff views or planning a hike to cover a significant distance; achieving that real sense of accomplishment. But sometimes, we need to not be so focused on the achievement so “as not to miss the forest…. because of the trees.”


Lynn has a great ability to slow down and find the details of the journey. When looking back over pics she has taken, I often find it’s the pictures of the smaller discoveries that have more meaning than the shot of across the valley.


As much as weather events may cause slippery conditions, not slowing down to discover the hidden details of the journey may lead you to:


If we’re only focused on the destination, we may miss so many important details along the way.

Slow down and enjoy what you can find along the path. For the most part, all of the peaks have been bagged; all the trails have been walked by someone before you. No new prizes given out to the fastest or being first.

Anytime you’re out on a trail or in the great outdoors you’ve already accomplished something special.

I think most people never really get out and enjoy what you and I enjoy doing.

See, you’re already ahead of the game.


One thought on “It’s the Little Things Along the Way

  1. Pingback: Change and Little Things – justabitfurther

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