the ripple effect of small moments shared…

I recently traveled to South Dakota for my niece’s wedding. When I got home and reflected on the whole experience I realize that it was a bunch of small moments of connection or awe that stayed with me most.

With the constant thrum of big events invading our lives constantly through media and our handheld devices, how much attention are we devoting to collecting slivers of life that delight us?

What is the ripple effect on our human experience when small moments are shared with others?

I helped a farmer get a cow wrangled and held my grandnephew Louis.

I played piano in a quiet chapel, and had coffee on the deck of the cabin I rented at sunrise. Since I began playing piano I’ve only played on an electronic keyboard.

I helped my nieces with the table arrangements for the reception, and noted the lovely harvest message at the church during the wedding rehearsal.

We danced late into the night (or morning). I was dipped so far by a fabulous unknown fella that the back of my head touched the floor. Damn, I’d forgotten how those South Dakota guys know how to dance.

I delighted in the South Dakota sunset at the Choteau Creek Brewing Co. in Wagner, SD. Then on my way home I got stuck in Chicago and landed at the Gaslight near the Hilton in O’Hare. What could’ve been a bummer of an evening after my flight was cancelled turned into an amazing meal, live music, and dinner with a philosophy major farm kid from Michigan who now works as a Federal Border Agent in El Paso. We talked for three hours, what a gift to get perspective from someone with direct knowledge about issues I have little context or understanding about. And he got to hear all about Chloe and David’s wedding. Congratulations!

Other small & lovely unphotographed moments…

My two-year-old grandnephew when asked if I could help him down the steps shot me a look I’ll never forget. He did not need my help in any way.

Kip, the owner of Grind House coffee shop saw me helping with the reception and stopped to ask me if I liked my coffee.

My niece flew into the church parking lot with her van when we were about to go in for the rehearsal. She traveled from western Colorado without phone and we didn’t know where she was—old school, I truly admired her moxie.

I met a South African man who was spearfishing in the Missouri for walleye. He said the water was a little muddy and conditions were difficult.

My exhausted sister fell asleep on my shoulder the evening after her daughter’s wedding.

Two of my nieces, and my six-year-old grand nephew got to take a late Sunday afternoon swim in the river. The water was healing to our tired souls.

“Look back on your life and find something small that made a big difference.” ―Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life