What is My One Thing? and Other Questions on a Winter Walk

frosty pine tree


I visited a friend in the Colorado mountain town of Evergreen earlier this month, and decided to take the scenic route instead of the highway. What a good decision that turned out to be. As I wound through Indian Hills and came around the bend to Mount Falcon Park, I entered a wonderland where a blanket of frost had turned the landscape soft and white.

It was so breathtaking, I parked and took a spontaneous walk.


Snowy pine tree


Every tree branch, every blade of grass, had been touched by frost.



My spirit had been downcast after reading the news that morning, and the walk did me good. I’d been wondering for the zillionth time why, as a people, we can’t strike a better balance between supporting business and taking care of the environment. Why do those two good concepts have to be in such conflict?


Frosty fence


We’re so smart about some things. Why is positive change so difficult? Why should there be any question at all about our collective need to care for our beautiful earth?



The night before I’d had a good conversation with my niece, Bonnie. She’s caring, committed, courageous, and outspoken. She’s 24, and she’s part of the generation that will, I hope, fix some of the things we’ve unfortunately broken.

“We can’t each fix everything, so why not focus hard on one thing and really try to make an impact?” she suggested, and I thought it was wise advice.



The challenge, for me, is narrowing down all the things I care about to really focus on one thing. Feeding the hungry, clean water, clean air, human rights, caring for the environment…how can you pick only one?


Frosty trees


But perhaps, I reasoned, I could give one cause my daily attention.



A simple walk through nature reminded me of how ordered and perfect and sustaining a mountain meadow is. God entrusted us with the earth, and all we humans have to do is take good care of what we have. My one thing, I decided, is to do all I can to nurture the earth and speak out in support of long-range, big picture policies that better help us humans steward this beautiful planet.



I’ll do my best to look after all of the causes that matter to me, but I’ll focus extra hard on my one thing:  making a positive impact on our environment.

Maybe if enough of us do the same, future generations can experience the soul-soothing wonder and awe of a quiet mountain meadow dusted with frost.


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

8 thoughts on “What is My One Thing? and Other Questions on a Winter Walk”

  1. I live in the tropics so that kind of scene is something i will never find! How beautiful – it just all looks so peaceful. we are so blessed to live in this wonderful world.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I loved spending time on your blog and looking at the beautiful flowers and orchids you grow. How fun that we can experience each other’s very different worlds.

      Readers, you can see Gillian’s wonderful blog here: http://africanaussie.blogspot.com/


  2. What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing, i will be spending the day or so really thinking about what my “One Thing” is. Thanks so much for the Blog!!

    • One thing you’re very good at is making a blog author’s day. 🙂 Thank you, Kevin, and I hope your deep thoughts lead you to good clarity.

    • What a beautiful and inspiring quote from someone who made a huge difference in the lives of so many. Thank you, thank you, Julia. xoxo

  3. As much as I love summer and the beaches and everything being green, there are times when the beauty of the cold weather is impossible to deny. Thanks for sharing!


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