Life's little moments

We often think of life as a sequence of seminal moments: births, graduations, weddings, professional achievements, etc. There are, however, little moments – so unique that they stay with us for life. These moments bring a smile to our faces every time they flash into memory. The problem with them is that they consist of the perfect convergence of circumstance and personal emotion. Therefore, people can witness the same moment and not share the same experience.

I was sitting on a pier in Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Cape Cod, on a fall day. I knew I was having a great moment – eating raw oysters in good company, as a late-afternoon breeze stroked my face. Then a bride and groom walked by, her veil blown over her face. His smile affirmed "our" complicity in the moment.

Then I realized: One person's seminal moment is another's little one.

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