Some people say they feel small walking beneath the tall buildings that stretch skyward in a booming metropolis, but I don’t. Towering buildings make me feel large too, as if to say, “Look what humanity has built with our intelligence and our strength and our power, and I am among them with my own intelligence and strength and power!” It makes me feel proud. It makes me feel ambitious. It makes me feel zealous for work and activity and achievement.
Then there are those moments when I escape the monuments of the city for the grandeur of the wild. Sitting in the midst of an expansive, untouched forest where creatures run savagely, or beneath the peaks of mountains that have stood for eons, firm and strong and timeless, I can’t help but feel small. I feel tiny. Infinitesimal. I realize in those moments what true grandeur is.
There is such peace in the moments when I feel small. The bustling business of ambition ceases. The stillness is soothing. The realization of my own smallness is strangely calming, strangely reassuring. Burdens are lifted and make way for awe. And I drink deep of the beauty. And breathe in the majesty of the things humanity cannot create. I rest secure in what is beyond the ability of my hands to build.
I emerge from these moments with a fresh understanding of my place in the cosmos. I don’t occupy a space of power, but of humility. The world does not revolve around me, and that’s the right order or things. I’m small on this Earth, and there is so much left to see, so much to continue to pursue if I commit to embrace the wonder.
These are treasured moments. Moments I want to pass on to my children. Moments worth pursuing, when I experience the comfort of smallness.