Yesterday morning, coffee brewed behind me as a storm brewed in front of me. Right out the kitchen window, the wind wailed and the snow rushed down in flowy white blankets. Earlier that morning, Kim and I walked outside to see just what kind of gift nature left us in the night, and a few steps past the house, we sunk knee-deep into the snow. At lunchtime, I gave her a piggyback ride to and from school for fun, and when we hit the deep snow spots and I couldn’t lift our weight with each step, we toppled into a snowdrift and ended up covered in snow, laughing the whole way home.
You know those little snippets of memories that pop into your head at odd times—the ones that are about nothing in particular but seem to be really important to you? It’s those mundane yet completely memorable moments that make life authentic and unforgettable.
A group of my friends sat on the cement floor of a train station in Germany, leaning against our backpacks, eating peanut butter sandwiches, peeling oranges, and people-watching. I remember saying to them, “This is one of those moments. The kind that I’ll always remember.” Hundreds of little memories like these can be triggered by a certain smell or a color someone wears or a word I hear.
There was one of these moments the other day when Kim and I took a walk; we sprawled out in the snow and started licking it straight off the ground. We’d done this before a few times, so it wasn’t anything new, but this time we were on opposite sides of this little hill, and all I could see of her face was peeking through frozen blades of tundra grass. I said, “I’m going to Dairy Queen,” and then tasted a fresh patch of snow to my right. She chimed in, “Well I’m at Taco Bell,” and licked the icy flakes in front of her. We moved on to Pizza Hut and Burger King before the snow-eating spree was over.
It’s the times that I don’t have pictures of—the ones that don’t include sticking my hand in a beluga whale’s mouth or standing underneath the Eiffel Tower—that make me feel more aware of the blessings in my life. Of course, the huge moments like those are blessings too, and I wouldn’t replace them for anything. But it’s those little moments where time seems to stop just for you and your friends… the times when your life feels complete because you’re with somebody you love. And even though the big experiences fill up my silo of memories, it’s those little moments that build up the walls of my memory and hold all the rest together.