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SPOTS OF TIME: A Collection of Memoir Vignettes, Anecdotes, and Reflective Essays

By Sara Etgen-Baker

Spots of time flashed before my eyes like ribbons of light, darting all around me similar to the fireflies that frequented my grandfather’s backyard. I tried touching them but couldn’t, for they were overwhelmingly numerous, scattered everywhere throughout my life. I opened my laptop and placed my fingers on the keyboard hoping to capture some of them before they disappeared into the night.

What was a spot of time? Was it something as simple as genuinely noticing the sun’s warmth on my skin and feeling soothed?   Was it  a memory like the one I have of canoeing down the Brazos River with my father, or was it something more profound like the invisible bond we made that day? Was it a moment so sublime that it was inspiring like the moment I looked up at the Sistine Chapel awed by Michelangelo’s dedication and creativity? Was it a moment of divine synchronicity like the moment when my husband and I first met?

Perhaps it was a moment that stood out as something special, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it was special. Maybe it was a moment when I felt a profound sense of peace and understanding as if the Universe was ordered as it was intended to be. Possibly it was a moment in which I caught a glimpse of awareness, saw a truth, gained an insight, or had an epiphany. My spots of time were all those things, and they were also those formative moments, however brief, that stayed with me and shaped me into the person I became.

Spots of Time is a collection of stories about some of those moments, some of which were previously published in anthologies, magazines, and blogs.  It opens with “Journey With Mother,” a touching story about girlhood cut short and the power of a mother’s words to put fear and prejudice into perspective.  The collection ends with “Dinner With The Butterfly Whisperer,” a poignant recount of my final days with my father before his passing.

In between are other memoir vignettes as well as anecdotes, blog posts, and reflective essays.  Some are entertaining while others are more serious. But tucked within each story is an insight, epiphany, or a tiny universal truth that validates our shared humanity. Spots of Time is an authentic, illuminating, and heartwarming collection of some of my life’s smallest moments, many of which I occasionally revisit for perspective, strength, personal growth, and encouragement.   Reading this collection will touch your heart, ignite your memory, and trigger your own spots of time, revealing to you some hidden truths, however small, within your own life.

Sara Etgen-Baker Bio

Sara’s love for words began when her mother read the dictionary to her every night. A teacher’s unexpected whisper, “You’ve got writing talent,” ignited her writing desire. Although Sara ignored that whisper and pursued a different career, she eventually re-discovered her inner writer and began writing. Her manuscripts have been published in anthologies and magazines including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Wisdom Has A Voice, Times They Were A Changing: Women Remember the 60s and 70s, Finding Mr. Right, and Table for Two.  In addition to writing memoirs, Sara’s writing her first novel, Secrets at Dillehay Crossing.

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