Wednesday morning there was a long fuchsia ribbon on the floor in the parking garage. I saw it as I passed by and was overwhelmed with sadness. In my eyes, that ribbon was so much more than just a ribbon. It was a symbol of innocence lost or discarded; a dirty, crushed, damp reminder that, sometimes, beautiful little things just fall away and people never even notice.

Beauty is scarce enough in this world without us dismissing it. Little things matter.

I remember the most beautiful slice of lime that I ever saw. It was on the rim of a margarita in a horrid little chain restaurant in Delaware in December of 2000.

The only perfect green apple I’ve ever tasted was in my lunch as I was painting a house with my dad in the winter of 2002.

The prettiest blue sky was over Lake Michigan in July of 2003.

The softest thing I ever held was my very first nephew in September of 2005; he was 20 minutes old.

The freshest air was on the east cliff over the North Sea in Whitby, England in March of 2006.

The smoothest stone was in a tidal pool on Inchydoney beach in Ireland in October of 2007.

The steamiest shower was in a little hotel in a Lake Michigan coastal town in September of 2008.

The kindest gesture came in the form of a homemade blanket in October of 2010.

The sweetest kiss was placed on my right cheek in a sushi bar in June of 2011.

The most unforgettable words were in a hospital in August of 2012.

These are all just snapshots in time of beautiful things that have all disappeared; things that only exist now because I remember them; little things that mattered, to me, in big ways.

Think about all the little things that matter to you. Think about the beautiful things that may have seemed insignificant but made a lasting impression. Remember all those the next time you begin to talk yourself out of a word or a gesture or a feeling because, “It’s just a little thing.”

There are no little things.

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