Defining Moments

I have been lost in thought about life and how we come into who we will be. I find my thoughts drifting back to important moments in my life and wondering if those moments are where I made the decision to turn left or right or to plow ahead on a path that some might say destiny carved long before my birth.

I think back to important milestones in my life – the big memory moments. “I will never forget how I felt when…” For me, however, I am not sure those were the defining moments in my life. I think life turns on a dime, fueled by tiny moments scarcely seen and felt.

For example, I recall so well, like so many Americans, the day President Kennedy was shot or the day the Challenger exploded or the day the towers fell. I will always remember how time almost seemed to stand still. I certainly learned about myself and people and mankind from those moments but those were not the moments that shaped me.

Instead I remember discussions with my parents when I realized my thoughts sometimes varied greatly from theirs. I can remember cringing at words spoken by beloved family members and feeling resolute in my determination to believe differently.

I remember discovering even the holiest of men were judgmental and allowing that truth to poke tiny holes in my belief system allowing a different source of light to peek through.

I remember the feel of the earth under my bare feet and feeling grounded in my place in the world. The call to return home to these mountains never left me. While sense of place is different that the sense of being, I do wonder what transpires in a person’s life that steers them into making bad decisions, some that can end their lives prematurely.

I remember well discovering my sense of wonder at watching a “touch-me-not” explode in the palm of my hand or the way I could see the rain move over the mountain tops. As much as I loved the place where I grew up, I knew I could not find what I needed to make me whole unless I ventured elsewhere.

Were your defining moments big or small, or like a few people I know, do you not feel any sense of any particular moments that steered you in a particular direction? I would love for you to share your thoughts.