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
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
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
that these little
are the roots from which i grow.
– s. ata
Why I Wrote This Poem
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.