The Washington Post

Mine: So much is contained in such small things. What holds meaning to you?


(Nathaniel Grann/The Washington Post)

Sylvia Orli

45, Arlington, museum specialist

My elementary school believed in my greatness. That is, it believed in everyone’s greatness, and as a 6-year-old, I took this as a personal affirmation that I could do wonderful things. The school had a kiln and a book publishing club, so in addition to writing several masterful books (such as “I’m a Lucky Caterpillar”), I made pottery pieces. My favorite was Little Man, a black and red clay person, with eyes I delicately formed with my pinkie. I put Little Man on my dresser in a special place.

Of course, I grew up and realized life was not going to surround me with recognition of my greatness. I didn’t make the grade, get the job, hold on to the success or become the amazing person my 6-year-old self had imagined.

A few years back, my father gave me a box of my childhood things, and in it, carefully wrapped in newspaper, was Little Man. Opening it, I was taken back to a time when life was magical and I could do just about anything.

I put Little Man on my dresser. Now when I go to bed every night, there he is. He reminds me that I can feel that way about myself, regardless of what life brings. Forty years should not change that.

Tell us about what you treasure and why: E-mail 250 words or fewer to WP Magazine. Please use “MINE” in the subject line, and include age, city and job.

For stories, features such as Date Lab, Gene Weingarten and more, visit WP Magazine.

Follow the Magazine on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook.

E-mail us at wpmagazine@washpost.com.

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

lifestyle

magazine

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.