Sweet Small Moments in September

There’s a payoff to opening yourself up to what you don’t understand, but seems like a good idea at the time

Martha Manning, Ph.D.


Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

Priceless Moments

Most of us live out our days, moment by moment. At the end of each day, we shake out the majority of those scraps, saving some because they were funny or moving, or hot, or intriguing.

Sometimes they occurred at the intersection we have with a person we know or love.

But the older I get, the more likely are the small, strange moments I share with total strangers. Maybe because there are no rules anymore. Maybe I feel free from the constraints of being me.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got nothing to lose. The only thing I do know is that these moments are a combination of empathy, intuition and abandon. And their magic is that they usually jettison me from sorrow to joy.

Too many pains

Due to an illness that hurts, distorts and slows my legs, it takes me 10 minutes to slither out of bed. When my feet hit the floor, I curse in pain, as I tip toe to my closet, as I weigh the possibility of retreating to my bed.

The sizzling summer hangs on this September, delaying my favorite season — autumn. I know that it is supposed to be a season of decline-- the sun becomes stingy, colors become muted, and I feel a slight shiver on my evening walks.

But I love that time — the magic that a fading sun works on a late afternoon sky, illuminating birds who always know when it’s time to get out of Dodge, the leaves going out with an encore of brilliance, before they succumb to crinkly brown shreds carried away on the swirling autumn winds.

Bad times - behind me and before me

Today isn’t an ordinary shitty day. It’s an exceptionally shitty one. One year ago today, my mother died.

I remember my sisters and I gathered around her hospital bed in the living room. It comes to me so vividly, my chest hurts.

As my mother reached deeper and deeper for breath, we inhaled along with her, knowing that as her exhalations became more distant, we could no longer…



Martha Manning, Ph.D.

Dr. Martha Manning is a writer and clinical psychologist, author of Undercurrents and Chasing Grace. Depression sufferer. Mother. Growing older under protest.