Transformations take place within us every day. Most are so small they are unnoticeable, making tiny changes that move us forward in subtle ways. The large transformations are the moments we don't expect, moments that burst through our minds and our hearts, stealing the air in our lungs with sudden awareness and understanding of ourselves.
Transformations like the moment I realized I was capable of falling in love, as I stood on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, holding hands with a boy and overlooking the dark, moonlit water. The moment I realized a fierce independence lay inside me, as I cut through rough waves, grasping tightly onto a windsurfing board. The moment I realized I could write my own future, as I sat in an uncomfortable office chair, blinking at a bright computer screen full of numbers and symbols.
Transformations move mountains within our souls.
Books are one of the few ways to live a thousand different lifetimes. Each story I hear, whether read or told, opens a window into a new domain of different perspectives on myself and others. Books have the power to change me in both the small and big ways.
When I first encountered John Green's book, The Fault in Our Stars, I found myself sitting on my bed, clutching the book between my hands with a unique desperation. I stayed up late into the night as my eyes traveled over the words; I couldn't read fast enough to reach the next sentence and I couldn't read slow enough to allow myself to fully savor the moment. I laughed and cried simultaneously, my tears spilling onto the page, my heart full of emotion. When I closed the pages, I spent a rare moment in reflection.
The book changed me in that moment. Though I may never pinpoint the ways or means of the change, I could feel the transformation within me—real, raw, and pure.
Little moments are a minor key to the major chords in our lives. The beautiful kindness of a stranger who helps me pick up a pile of dropped books as I apologize for my clumsy nature. The rush of positive emotion brought on by a childhood smell I had forgotten existed. A message from a friend that arrives at precisely the right moment it needed to be heard.
The power of a revolutionary moment, whether large or small, should never be underestimated. An unassuming piece of cake on a dreary autumn afternoon can provide immeasurable comfort to a weary soul.