It Changed Everything

Today, I read my students a single event memoir by Deidra Riggs. I’m asking them to choose a single event–a single moment of their lives–to narrate for a reader.

The memoir, “Better Than the Ballroom”, takes just a few minutes to read. In this piece, Riggs transports us to an evening spent with her grandfather. A granddaughter takes a walk with her grandfather; it’s a simple walk, but it means so much.

We talk about tiny moments. Can you remember a moment that changed everything? A conversation, a walk, a view of a landscape?

All day, I think about how these tiny moments can shape entire lives. Listening to students talk about “moments that changed everything” makes me deeply aware of my own interactions with folks. I also consider how much I want to be fully aware of the moments of my day–my conversations, my walks, my landscapes–because on this day, that moment might just change everything.

Finally, I recall those tiny moments in my own life that changed everything. Maybe it was finding a turtle as a child or skating on a frozen creek at midnight. Maybe it was reading the poetry of John Keats. Maybe it was eating coconut cake.

Maybe it was sitting down and writing the very first word.

Can you think of that moment? Have you considered writing about it?

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  1. Some moments stand out more than others.. As I read this I recalled walking along with my son when he was small and tripping and falling on the pavement. Picking myself up and brushing down my dress I looked around to make sure no one had seen. Certain I was safe from embarrassment I took my four year olds hand and continued on. Little did I realise that fall would be the topic of conversation for all to heard as my little one told everyone and re-enacted out exactly how mummy fell on her face in the street. I was mortified about it at the time. Now thirty years later I can see the funny side and laugh about it.