Given the many ups and downs of the past two years, it can be hard to slow down and appreciate the little things. However, a youth recently reminded me just how magical these moments of joy in our everyday lives can be.
Last week, I attended an immigration appointment with Ara*, a youth from our Crisis Program who had recently moved to Vancouver from Saudi Arabia after it had become unsafe for him to live there. As we made our way to his appointment, I realized that it had been raining every day in Vancouver for the past week and that this was the first sunny day we had seen in a while. I wasn’t alone in admiring this rare moment of sunshine, as Ara turned to me and started telling me how beautiful he thinks Vancouver is, and how he loved being near the ocean.
“Ever since I came to Vancouver, I’ve learned to appreciate the small things,” Ara said, as we made our way along the seawall.
At that moment, we both stopped and fell silent for a few minutes. The air was quiet and calm. When I turned to him I realized that we had both momentarily closed our eyes to soak up the sun rays.
The appointment went by quicker than we expected. Left with some spare time, we decided to spend it walking along the water. After a while we came to a wharf, and we realized it was just us and two fishermen. I pointed out the surrounding islands to Ara and he shared with me where he was from and how being on the ocean here felt different.
He seemed very interested in the fishermen. We eventually approached them, asking about their day and what they had caught. One of the fishermen even offered Ara a chance to try out his fishing rod after Ara revealed that he had never fished before. Naturally, Ara jumped at the chance. I sat back and watched as they taught him their tips and tricks.
Spending the day with Ara impressed upon me the importance of taking a step back and being thankful for what we have. He thanked me many times for all the things we were doing to help him, including making time to visit the wharf and for being a safe driver. Ara reminded me to recognize the small but important things in our daily lives and to truly appreciate where we live.
*Youth’s name changed to protect their privacy