3:14 a.m. My mind wanders to a place it can only reach in the stillness of the night. This is where I seek solace under a soft ivory blanket without any worries of the outside world. Silence. 5:47 a.m. I exhale a deep breath I didn’t know I had been holding as I watch the sky turn from a pale yellow to a shade that can only be described as cotton candy. I remember devouring my first bag of it when I was a child, the pink and blue sugar sticking to every part of my face complete with a smile much too big to fit. Nostalgia. 1:32 p.m. I see my best friend after two weeks. Her arms wrap around me and it is familiar, I sink into a much-needed long hug that doesn’t turn awkward. A few minutes later we are laughing until we can’t breathe over something that nobody else would find remotely funny. Love. 4:15 p.m., my dad is driving and our song comes on the radio. The similarities between us are undeniable, from our horrible dancing to our taste in obscure alternative music. Family.


Why do I remember these moments? Are these memories important? Will I remember them in a month, a year, 5 years? Probably not. Our lives are made up of so many events that they all become a blur. We take for granted these moments that make us who we are. There are times where one will feel so indescribably happy that everything that is wrong and ugly in the world disappears. There are times where one becomes nothing but a mess of skin, bones, and negativity that consumes every fiber of their being. I don’t want to forget these moments. I don’t want to forget what it felt like when my baby sister held my finger in her tiny hand for the first time, and how I knew I would never be the first one to let go. I don’t want to forget seeing lions roam the African savannah while I, a mere human, stood in awe of the beauty of earth. I don’t want to forget when my great grandmother died and I spent the whole night awake with my mother, crying, even though I had never met her. This was the night I learned what loss felt like.


One thing that I know for sure is that I fall in love with these beautiful moments. I fall in love with the way a stranger can go on for hours about something they are truly passionate about. I fall in love with the way a lover is able to touch more than just one’s body, but touch their mind, soul, and heart. In today’s world, we are so fixated upon the idea of everything being fast paced. There is instant coffee, minute rice, and texting. There are people constantly rushing to get from one place to the other, not able to sit in traffic for thirty seconds without looking for a different route. When showing a friend a video on YouTube, it has to load in ten seconds or less or they will lose their interest completely. There is no time to sit back and really appreciate the moments before they’re gone.


So, sit back. Take a moment to appreciate how the sun hits your eyes and turns them from dark brown to hazel. Read your favorite book again, even if you’ve already read it ten times. Watch the way people around you smile, how some have dimples right in the middle of their cheeks and some avoid smiling with their teeth because they have braces. Look up from your phone long enough to notice the leaves changing color and the fact that your neighbor just had a baby. Lose yourself in a dance even if you are the worst dancer in the world. Go for a run without headphones. Strike up a conversation with an old friend.


Let yourself be completely immersed in the present, even if it’s just for a few seconds.





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6 thoughts on “Moments

  1. Dear Alysha,

    congratulations on this piece. I found it to be a beautiful commentary on the value of the small things in life, and the reasons we have to smile. I’d also like to extend my congratulations to you for because this is the first piece of yours I’ve had the privilege of reading where I could really hear your voice. Your stylistic choices worked beautifully and added such a transcendent mood to the piece that I felt like I was watching a poetic film unveil before my eyes. Your choices of imagery especially were fantastic and the brevity of the piece added to the truth of your words. They needed no explanation.

    To work on I would offer that perhaps you could have played with the structure to add even more style to your words. I feel as though it may possibly have added to the piece to start a new paragraph every time you mentioned a new time. In doing so, the reader would feel a pause between each idea and that air would aid in the development of the laid back, philosophical mood you developed.

    I offer you congratulations again and would ask you: What was the inspiration for this piece? What spurred your recognition of the value in the small things of life?


  2. Dear Alysha,

    This piece is so beautiful and so effective in many ways. I absolutely adore how you created a comforting, homely sort of feeling for your audience with your diction. It almost felt as though I was sitting in front of a fire while I was reading it. I would offer this piece truly speaks to the human condition, particularly our communal need for comfort and bonds with one another. These bonds are so palpable and draws your audience in almost immediately, so the choice to begin with an anecdote is incredibly effective. Furthermore your precise control of short, simply sentences really work to enhance the nostalgia feel of the piece. I won’t lie, at first I was concerned to see you start with fragments and times as I felt they might be jarring, but the opposite happened. These fragments drew me in and worked to sew your anecdotes together beautifully. Bravo for taking that risk because it most definitely paid off.

    One thing I’d like to offer for an area of growth for you is to work on your use of commas. Once you moved onto longer sentences I found myself running out of breath at times. As well, the use of commas would only work to improve the flow of this piece, not that it needs it.

    All in all though, a job well done!


    1. Dear Megan,
      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I wasn’t really sure about using sentence fragments because, as you said, they can often be jarring. I’m really happy that you thought they worked well with the piece.

      As for the commas, after reading it again I completely agree and that’s something I’ll definitely work on for next time.

      With love,

  3. Dear Alysha,

    Your blog really touched me. When you said “Why do I remember these moments? Are these memories important? Will I remember them in a month, a year, 5 years? Probably not.” I feel as though you made this very relatable and “real”. It puts things into perspective. I mean, of course we aren’t going to remember all of these small things that make our lives beautiful, but as long as we can enjoy them while we have them, I think that is the true beauty of these moments; that they don’t last forever, but in that moment, you feel as if they could.

    Your last paragraph when you gave suggestions as to how you can embrace these moments really brought it home for me. The fact that you gave personal examples as well also really engaged me. You have a gift with words man! Everything flowed beautifully and your word choices and sentences and everything was just so lovely to read.

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I think it’s what we all needed to realize about life; to embrace the small moments that make up who we are, and not to take them for granted. For as we look back, even if we don’t remember each and every one of them, they will be the most beautiful and impactful moments of our life.

    Thank you so much for the gift you’ve given us.


  4. Dear Alysha,

    Your piece makes me examine what kinds of things I have learned from my own experience, and to that I can only wonder who I would be if I had been born to another family, another country, or even simply another gender. Living life as it is, like you so beautifully tell, is the only thing that makes our memories genuine and our experience unique, as long as we can slow down to smell the roses. It is such an interesting topic to ponder, and for that I applaud you for extracting such beauty out of the things many of us don’t see.

    I connect to this peicw very deeply for I was talking with my mom recently about memory, particularly about the memories I have of her mother, my maternal grandmother. I remember what her little old apartment looked and smelled like, and every time I smell moth balls I am transported back to that place. My mom said that its sad that moth balls are the smell that I associate with my grandmother, but I find it wonderful. Moth balls to me aren’t a horrible smell because I associate it with love and comfort, and as well, it is not such an uncommon smell, therefor I am reminded of love and comfort often.

    I find that your piece perfectly encapsulates the impacts of touch, smell, colour, and vibrancy of our memories and emotions. You tell it so well too, I loved your reminiscings of the African savannah and of your little sister, they brought a pathos to your work that wouldn’t have been there had you not delved deep into your own experience to share it with us. I love your formatting in this piece, especially the first paragraph. Starting each section with a time and ending with a single motif really encapsulates the beauty and simplicity a single moment can make on one’s memory.

    From what I’ve seen of your works so far Alysha, you have a gifted creative mind! Keep writing, and keep amazing us. 🙂


    1. Ali,
      Thank you so much for your comment! It really means a lot coming from you. Thank you also for sharing one of your experiences with me, it’s really encouraging to see that it made you as a reader think of one of your own experiences. I look forward to reading your work as the semester goes on.
      With love,

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