I work at things. I try to do what the pigeons do when someone drops a loaf of bread to the ground and work larger pieces into a manageable size. I do this with tasks and crises. I do this with chores and meals I prepare.

The musician did this with nature.

His approach, enjoying small spots of nature every day rather than epic versions of wilderness and escape, made sense to me. Big trips were the glaciers, cruiseships to Madagascar, the Verdon Gorge, the Cliffs of Moher, walking on the moon. Small trips were city parks with abraded grass, the occasional foray to the lake woods of Ontario, a dirt pile. Smallness did not dismay me. Big nature travel—with its extreme odysseys and summit-fixated explorers—just seemed so, well, grandiose.

The drive to go bigger and further just one more instance of the overreaching at the heart of western culture.

I like smallness. I like the perverse audacity of someone aiming tiny.

Together we would make a symbolic pilgrimage to the wellspring of the mini

Purchase the audiobook from Audible or S&S.com
Watch an interview with Kyo Maclear about Birds Art Life
Read the Scribner Reading Group Guide for Birds Art Life
See photographs by the bird guide featured in Birds Art Life