Multiples of Small

I’m just back from a week-long writers’ conference on Ambergris Caye, in Belize, where I taught for a week. The morning after I read from my new book, “Small: The Little We Need for Happiness,” two of the writers in my workshop presented me with a baby coconut. “We thought of you and small when we saw this on the beach during our walk this morning,” they told me.

“Oh,” I exclaimed. It’s beautiful. The whole is a small, beautiful object, with its sheen and delicate brown striations. And each angle offers me an even smaller beautiful moment: the funiculus, or bottom, where everything assembles into a perfect point, and the full circle of the navel, where the coconut was once attached to the mother tree.”

“We knew you’d love it,” the writers said. “At first we thought of it as one beautiful tiny object. But we’d learned from you to look further, and once we looked, we saw that each small part was exquisite on its own.”

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