My friend and colleague, Jeri Ruetz, composed the following words on her recent trip out West. She’s been so instrumental in allowing us to reach and surpass our Charity:Water goal this year!

I recently had the great privilege of taking my first trip out west to Wyoming. I had never been so my husband and I took a few days to take in Yellowstone National Park, the Tetons and surrounding scenery. It was incredible.

We spent a day in Yellowstone, but spent the majority of our time hiking around Grand Teton National Park, specifically Jenny Lake. This lake sits at the base of the three Teton mountains and is a spectacular sight. However, the days we were there were very cloudy and rainy, and the mountains stayed hidden up in the clouds.

Our last night there we took one last drive through the park and miraculously the clouds parted just hours before our flight out, providing us with our first incredible view of these towering mountains. The sun was setting behind them and the words “picture perfect” can’t even describe the view that was before us. The parted clouds and shining sun lasted a mere minute or two before new clouds rolled in and the sun was gone.

When we went back to the car my husband told me about a woman standing next to him taking photos. Everyone looking at that view was taking multiple photographs, but my husband was humored because this woman commented to him that she liked and was taking pictures of a puddle. She liked the puddle on the sidewalk, on the turnout, in front of the lake, in front of these amazing mountains with the sun setting behind it. She liked the puddle.

I’ve heard my husband retell this story to multiple people since we’ve returned, and he always makes the comment that it’s the classic example of “missing the forest for the trees.” He couldn’t believe she was enamored by a puddle with the sight that was before her.

As I’ve heard this story a few times and thought about what his perception was, I’ve realized there is beauty in both sides.

Sometimes we get caught up in the little things in life, the puddles and we miss the overwhelming, hugely amazing things in front of us. We get obsessed, stressed or tied up in tiny little things that to some may seem ridiculous or insignificant. But the flip side is that if you’re always looking at the big picture, the down the road or general thought, you miss those little details that make up life and make it beautiful on a daily basis.

You don’t want to miss the forest for the trees, but without the trees, the forest wouldn’t exist either. Appreciating both sides makes for the most beautiful combination of the tiny and the grandeur that makes up our every day.

I don’t want to miss the forest or the trees.

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