Quiet Moments, Green Meadows

“Everything in life is writable about,” Sylvia Plath once said, “if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.”




Sure, large events are worth writing about, both joyous as well as painful–perhaps a wedding, a graduation, a medal of honor; a death, an accident, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity lost.



Who among us hasn’t experienced life-changing moments, moments we want to record on paper or in song, on canvas or in film?  This is at the heart of what it means to create art . . . to take an experience, highly personal and unique to you, and then share it with the world, making it, as if by magic, accessible to everyone, a universal tribute to the human condition.



But what about the small moments, the quiet times, the everyday jobs?  What about that time you shared a lighthearted conversation with a friend, or had lunch with a coworker?  What about the special meal you prepared last Thursday or the audiobook you’re listening to as you commute to your job each morning?



Are these things writable too?


Every year, on a weekend in May, I take the seven-hour drive from the hills of east-central Vermont, where I live, to Rochester, New York, where I grew up.  This year, that weekend has arrived.  I’ll be heading out first thing tomorrow morning.



I always enjoy the drive.  May in the northeastern U.S. is a special time, a time made for driving across the countryside.  Lilacs bloom, showering the land with a riot of color–deep pink, lily white, warm purple.  Tall grasses, lush-green, sway in the breeze.  And the trees, bare and gray for so many months, are now bedecked with the leafy accoutrements of spring.



The towns, too, are alive, as if awakening from a winter-long slumber.  Before merging onto the New York State Thruway, I travel through places with names like Hudson Falls, Schuylerville, Fort Ann, and Fonda.  Small towns, old towns, with local diners and rambling farmhouses and village squares that, very easily, I can imagine as cinematic set pieces for a Frank Capra classic.  It’s all very nostalgic, and it creates in me a stirring, a yearning, an appreciation.



Driving through the towns, I see children playing catch, a lemonade stand on the corner, a couple walking their dog.  And I realize–it’s good to be alive on this spring day, in the 21st century.  It’s good to be going home.




I lived countless “little” moments in the house where I grew up, the house where my parents still live.  There were so many, in fact, they tend to merge in my mind, one upon another upon another, like an old home movie playing at triple speed.  But I remember.



I will always remember  . . .

. . . all the times I played with my brother.  We’d re-create baseball and football seasons with our favorite game, Strat-O-Matic.  Or we’d go into the backyard, and he would play quarterback and I would run routes, pretending I was playing in front of a hundred thousand fans on a Sunday afternoon.  I was just a kid, of course, nine years old, eleven, twelve, and at the time I may not have appreciated the attention my brother gave me as much as I should have.  But I’d like to think that, deep down, I did.  He is nine years older than me.  He was a junior in high school, a senior, then a college student, and still he found the time, and the desire, to be there for me.



Is that worth writing about?

Or what about my mother?  Some of my earliest memories are of her reading picture books to me.  I was three years old, and she play-acted the scenes and made the stories come alive, no doubt planting a seed, creating in me a love of reading and writing that would stay with me always.



Is that worth writing about?

Or what about my friends, who lived in the old neighborhood?  The same friends who inspired Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski in The Eye-Dancers, not to mention various supporting characters who pop up throughout the course of the novel.  I remember the games we invented, the trouble we got into, the things we would talk about on those clear summer nights when the stars, twinkling like precious diamonds, spread across the great dome of the sky.  We’d wonder–is there life up there, somewhere?  Are we really alone in the universe?  We didn’t think so.  Not then, and not now.



Is that worth writing about?


These quiet moments, these small moments, these green May meadows of the soul–soft with morning dew, carpeted with dandelions and velvety to the touch–are the sorts of places that encourage us to stop and linger for a while, to ponder where we’ve come from, and where we’re going.



To reflect on the ever-expanding, layered embroidery of our lives, the day-to-day happenings that comprise the bulk of who we are and what we do.  And what and who we love.

And that’s something worth writing about.



Thanks so much for reading!


82 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kimberlyharding
    May 16, 2014 @ 14:28:38

    This post was great. The “small” moments, as yo capture here, are what give our lives weight, depth and meaning. thanks for sharing- brought back a lot of my own memories.


  2. kcg1974
    May 16, 2014 @ 14:33:44

    Such a beautiful post. Silvia Plath could not have said it better, nor could you. Yes, “Everything in life is writable about.” Especially the “Little Moments.” Thank you so for sharing this.


  3. davecenker
    May 16, 2014 @ 14:49:16

    Writing has allowed me to recognize the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary experiences of my daily life. It is only upon reflection that we sometimes recognize the magic in a moment. And perhaps that’s the way it should be. If we are “looking” for those special moments in the moment, we miss out on the magic that transpires. Beautiful prose, thanks for sharing. And thanks for the reminder of summer days playing Strat-O-Matic and APBA Baseball 😉

    Everything is worth writing about, indeed, when we have the courage to dig beneath the surface, dust off the dirt of societal expectations, and discover the glittering gold.


  4. Rosaliene Bacchus
    May 16, 2014 @ 15:55:46

    With the small moments, we weave the stories of our lives.


  5. Andrea Stephenson
    May 16, 2014 @ 19:33:26

    Those ‘green May meadows of the soul’ – what a great way to describe the precious little moments of life.


  6. ptero9
    May 16, 2014 @ 19:39:20

    Sounds like a delightful trip Mike! A feast of beauty for the body and soul. Happy travels!


  7. Karen's Nature Art
    May 16, 2014 @ 21:09:35

    Great post! It’s neat that your parents still live where you grew up. Thanks for stirring up my memories and encouraging me to live in the small moments!


  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83
    May 16, 2014 @ 22:52:29

    I loved this nostalgia piece. Yes, we all have special and not so special moments in our lives unique to us and so well remembered.


  9. DeDivahDeals
    May 17, 2014 @ 01:07:40

    Yes, it’s all worth writing about, but more importantly, it was worth reading about it my fellow New Yawker! Traveling mercies and have a wonderful weekend.


  10. Blossom Brouillard
    May 17, 2014 @ 15:24:16

    Lovely, thought provoking post. 🙂


  11. theywalkthenight
    May 18, 2014 @ 03:56:10

    Great post! And yeah, I think everything is teaching us how to be better writers, even those small moments. They add truth, and depth to our work, whether we can see it then when it is happening or later on. After that experience has caused us to channel our knowledge into one of our characters.


  12. laurie27wsmith
    May 19, 2014 @ 11:39:39

    What is the worth in writing other than it please the reader? (Laurie Smith.) Hmm, my first profundity, I think. Mike they were beautiful snippets, each one worthy of being written.


  13. Sherri
    May 19, 2014 @ 16:46:21

    As always, a beautiful and thoughtful post Mike, and yes, it certainly is in the ‘small’ things from which so much can be gleaned and written about. Never mind the life-changing events!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your family 🙂


  14. evelyneholingue
    May 19, 2014 @ 18:21:22

    Both Sylvia and you are right, I think. We can write about anything. Small moments are so important. This post is, as always, beautifully written and touches on what matters in life.
    Also, I agree with you on May in the Northeast. I am familiar with the drive you are taking and love it too. I actually took a very similar picture of Rochester a few years ago as my family was driving cross country.
    I especially like this sentence of yours: “to ponder where we’ve come from, and where we’re going.”
    Thank you for another meaningful post and enjoy your time in your hometown.


  15. lauraeflores
    May 20, 2014 @ 08:08:49

    But of course they’re worth writing about, if you give those moments worth and meaning, whether it’s those stand alone moments or moments that are meaningful in context of something else. I took a drive with my hubby from New Hampshire to Los Angeles and that has been one of the most eventful and meaningful journeys of my life and yet… I can’t seem to be able to grab those individual moments and break them down to something worth writing about, but one of these days…


  16. kelihasablog
    May 20, 2014 @ 15:31:03

    😀 So many of your pictures, actually look like places around here, uncanny. LOL Yes, I think you can easily slide “moments of your childhood” into your writing. Your childhood sounds a lot like mine, only I didn’t play football… LOL. I LOVE your last poster! My philosophy on life… and SO true! Blessings ~


  17. teagan geneviene
    May 21, 2014 @ 19:10:42

    Lovely thoughts once again Mike. In your hands (or should I say from your pen), even the smallest things would be prose. However, when some people try to do that we get… reality TV. 🙂


  18. Aquileana
    May 21, 2014 @ 19:48:56

    Beautiful message and photos,
    Best wishes, Aquileana 🙂


  19. Sue Dreamwalker
    May 21, 2014 @ 21:07:33

    I think MIke its the little moments we all take with us.. Like today, my Granddaughter age 3 singing spontaneously in the car when we took her home after she spent the day with us.. At first I thought she was singing a song she had learnt in the nursery.. The tune perhaps from a hymn.. But as she sang I realised she was singing about the things she was seeing, such as the horse in the field and then the red bus, and the hedge and the trees and leaves.. She wove it into the most Magical Song as both me and my hubby listened in amazement..

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the photos… Long may you enjoy your quiet moments… xxx
    And thank you for always clicking the like button upon my posts… Your fly bys are most welcome.. xoxo I hoped you enjoyed the allotment views too xxx
    Blessings Sue xx


  20. lscotthoughts
    May 21, 2014 @ 21:38:11

    What a beautiful post, Mike, with a great start from Sylvia Plath. You wrote about all the special moments in life so poetically. I wanted to point out some favorite lines, but there are too many. Your message, though, is an important one; everything in life is writable, enjoy the big, as well as, the small moments. Enjoy each day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories…gorgeous photos, too!
    Lauren 🙂


  21. AGentleandQuietSpirit
    May 21, 2014 @ 21:57:56

    This is exactly why we enjoy these and write about these small moments. These are life! Beautiful article! 🙂


  22. AGentleandQuietSpirit
    May 21, 2014 @ 22:22:41

    Beautiful! In fact you captured what I love most about writing. The small stuff. It is the beauty in the memory and world around us which makes a story ring true! Thanks!


    • The Eye-Dancers
      May 27, 2014 @ 17:58:51

      Exactly.:) It is so often those “small” moments that are the most memorable in a novel or movie . . . for me, they frequently overshadow the “dramatic” sequences!


  23. Gallivanta
    May 23, 2014 @ 11:42:52

    Those little moments are definitely worth writing about. I especially like how you describe the merging of the memories in our childhood homes “There were so many, in fact, they tend to merge in my mind, one upon another upon another, like an old home movie playing at triple speed. But I remember.”


  24. Dianna Donnely
    May 24, 2014 @ 20:17:17

    Reblogged this on Dianna Donnely and commented:
    What a wonderful post Mike! My writing style in “The Gray Season” was similar in the way pieces of real life made their way into the story.

    I recently finished reading “The Eye-Dancers” and will be posting a review soon. Even though it is out of my normal genre, I enjoyed the read very much!


  25. fashionassist
    May 26, 2014 @ 04:10:24

    Love this reflective reminder that little things and small memories are worth writing about…
    and they’re what make novels like The Eye-Dancers come to life!!~
    “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” ~ John Wooden


  26. Christy Birmingham
    May 26, 2014 @ 23:27:34

    I really enjoy the ‘little’ moments but it took me a long time to get there… Well done with this post.


  27. stockdalewolfe
    May 27, 2014 @ 18:08:20

    Really enjoyed this piece, Mike!! Beautifully written and so visual. Somehow it never appeared in my email though I am definitely following you– ah, the mysteries of WP! Thought of you today as I posted my photos of the hotel in Saugerties. It has such character– could easily be used by Hitch! Thanks for sharing your ride and memories. 😉 ellen


  28. Carol Balawyder
    May 29, 2014 @ 18:51:24

    I loved reading your post. It was so well written…Is it worth writing about?…Sure, because it’s worth reading. 🙂


  29. jjspina
    May 29, 2014 @ 21:40:10

    Special moments are worth writing about which you have done so beautifully here. Great post, Mike! Thank you for sharing.


  30. susanissima
    May 30, 2014 @ 18:10:17

    Love this post, Eye-Dancers. I would say that the little moments which together add up to a life are at the core of all great writing. They are certainly the very soul of poetry, which seeks to celebrate the magic of moments and their wabi sabi beauty.


  31. Dilip
    May 31, 2014 @ 04:36:18

    Oh so beautiful! 🙂


  32. Charron's Chatter
    Jun 02, 2014 @ 16:07:42

    those little moments make us the people we are for the big ones. A wistful, lovely post. I feel good right now, and it must be because of this. 🙂


  33. felinitye
    Jun 05, 2014 @ 20:54:14

    Reblogged this on word buffet and commented:
    This is so true it both inspires and daunts me, and, no doubt, will generate more than 1 post in response.


  34. isabelburt
    Jun 06, 2014 @ 18:36:34

    Very engaging as always 🙂


  35. jjspina
    Jun 10, 2014 @ 01:52:03

    Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Saw your note about the blog tour but was too late to respond. I was away for two weeks and had over 3,000 emails to go through! Sorry, my friend!


  36. reocochran
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 00:35:15

    It is the little things, the details in life that make our memories special. I enjoyed this trip down your memory lane. Back to where you grew up and all the wonderful times you had. I am so glad you shared the idea of little things, because of course, we all make a big deal out of the main events… I loved this simple but wise post!


  37. beebeesworld
    Jun 14, 2014 @ 01:42:53

    Thanks for reading my articles. I enjoy reading yours too. beebeesworld


  38. Shery Alexander Heinis
    Jun 15, 2014 @ 23:42:04

    As someone says, small can be beautiful, and the small moments can be the most profound. Lovely essay, beautiful piece of art which reminds me of a Parisian painting.


  39. 24/7 in France
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 17:35:46

    The quiet, small moments (memories) are the threads that weave the fabric of our lives – lovely!


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