Loess is extraordinarily fine soil, formed (usually) from the grinding power of glaciers, and wind-borne and deposited to amazing depths in areas such as the American mid-west and the steppes of central Asia. It makes a horrifically sticky and slippery mud, and the grit penetrates every door frame and window sill. It gets in everywhere. Everywhere.
Each individual grain is pretty much imperceptible. But over enough time, it builds and builds and builds until you have steppes and prairies.
Most of the time that I hear about geological processes, they seem to be at such a scale as to defy reality. But loess deposition is very obvious, very much a part of life in those areas where it goes on. For example: if you're driving in Siberia in the rain, you have to get out periodically and scrape the sludge off the headlights. Everything is either dusty or dirty, all the time. It's one of the reasons Russians leave their shoes at the door.
I'm feeling like there's some very profound analogy I'm skidding around the edge of here, but I think it would come out way too trite and shallow if I tried to articulate it right now. So I'll let my subconscious grow grey under a film of loess until it decides what use to make of this idea.