I?m a green sort of gal. Well, let me be more specific: I am a ?green-leaves-on-trees? sort. Perhaps it?s because that is what I grew up with, or maybe it?s a past life thing. Who knows. In any case, when flying cross country, I am in awe of the mountains and deserts and marvel at the oceans. But my heart skips a beat when I see tree-covered land.

When I moved into my apartment, the leaves were just popping on the trees outside my window. I had a lush summer view of nothing but trees, the perfect antidote to a day spent in the hot, noisy city. And as fall approached, I decided to have a talk with the trees. I told them that they actually didn?t need to change their colors or drop those leaves on my behalf. I was perfectly happy with skipping those stages and just staying right where we were. They nodded?and you know the rest of the story.

Now I look out and see brown. ?And sticks. And while I can start to feel sad and count how many days until Spring, a story from my handyman helped me realize there are different ways to look at a situation.

William, a giant of a man, is my handyman from Salvador. Seriously ? if you?ve seen the movie Moana, think of the character of Maui. That?s him. Huge. He told me that when he came to the States in the winter, it was the first time he had ever seen trees without leaves. He thought they were all dead. While he was confused by this, he was also quite pleased by it. You see, where he came from, they cooked outdoors on fires, stoked by wood. What he saw was an endless supply of firewood. Which meant pots and pots of frijoles, and other delicious meals!

I looked again at this dismal scene?and noticed that now that the leaves are gone, I can now see the river. And, on the river, are the ducks, blue herons, sea gulls and Canadian geese, that I can only just hear during the summer. Now I can watch them as well. I can see the sun sparkle on the current and be a witness to nature?s miracles.

I am able to find the gratitude in what was once a less than desirable situation ? just by changing my perspective.

Sometimes it takes a giant to make you see the little things.