Cherish the Small Things in Your Journal

Tomes have been written about Anne Frank – a vibrant young woman taken from this earth by evil forces. Much has been written about her diary. There is a detail in her personal book that has come to symbolize unity, peace, and empathy.

While hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, Anne Frank would look out of a window and gaze at a white horse chestnut tree.

The young woman would write of the tree in her diary,

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs. From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver….”

Anne Frank – Feb 23, 1944

The writer goes on to say how much happiness the tree gives her.

The hiding place would later become a museum where saplings were grown from the original tree. These saplings are distributed throughout the world to various important and educational organizations, including presidential libraries and the United Nations Headquarters.

The Anne Frank Center notes that as, “they grow, the saplings act not only as living reminders of those who have passed, but as tools to educate future generations about the history of Holocaust, a service that is increasingly critical.”

A diary or journal might seem insignificant. However, these little details of life give us a window into a person’s world, provide a sense of place, and encourage empathy and understanding. One’s descriptions might come to symbolize an idea even greater than yourself, beyond your time.

Do not despise the small things in your life. Cherish them. Honor them. Give them a place in your journal.



For more on the chestnut tree, visit The Anne Frank Center.

Richard Proenneke, Conservationist and Journal Writer (Journal Writers #1)

The self-taught naturalist Richard Proenneke began his journey in journal writing after suffering an accident at work that left him without sight. He said that if he regained his sight he wanted to be in a place that is beautiful.

His sight returned and he moved near the Twin Lakes area in Alaska, building a log cabin in the woods and writing observations about nature.

His early journals would later be published during his lifetime. This served as a glimpse into Alaskan wildlife and also into the life of a person who discovered what was important to him and pursued it.

Read more about Richard Proenneke at the National Park Service