little (important) things: a poem.

i’ve come to appreciate the little (important) things:

a drive on a sunlit afternoon

the warm honey glow of ripening sun

as it descends into the folds of sleep.

a gentle breeze which rustles flirtatious leaves

on the elegant arms of slender trees

as my eyes draw closed, and my hair flies free.


i ask myself why i never noticed these things.

why sunlit drives didn’t give me pause

with their simple beauty

why sunlit drives didn’t bathe me in warmth

golden rays pouring through glass pouring into skin.

why the gentle breeze of a cloudless day

didn’t stir a smile or sway

didn’t assure me of the sureness

of today.


i notice more, i notice less.

i notice what was once thought to be expendable—

waking up in a warm bed,

light peeking through parted curtains.

pencils and papers and literature at my fingertips

the familiar scent of unturned pages and unread stories

tickling my nose

every time i part their binding.


it took me so long

to notice, to stop noticing.

to stop noticing the things

that stop me from noticing the little

(important) things.


life was about noticing what was unimportant.

life was about convincing myself that anything other

than the little (important) things

were worth my while.

time and time again, i’d

shorten sunlit drives like they were a chore

damming the sun’s endless pour.

delicate winds and early rise

gave way to frantic beginnings and tired eyes.

warm beds and streams of morning light

whisked away by a need to keep doing, get going, do right.

and pencils and paper and literature lost in a sea

of things unimportant, uninspiring to me.


now i see and i think and i hope and

i know

that these little

important things

are the roots from which i grow.

– s. ata

Why I Wrote This Piece

At the outset of COVID-19 closures and an upheaval of everyday life, I often felt trapped by contending emotions while in quarantine. Through the uncertainties of the time, I found solace in my renewed appreciation for the little things in life. I began to truly take in my everyday surroundings, noticing what I had once turned a blind eye to. In these moments, I knew that my current situation could only be shaped by how I perceived it. “little (important) things” is an ode to the aspects of life which I so often took for granted, and a deliberate step back from the unreasonable expectation to maximize productivity during an unprecedented period.


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