2023 New Year transition reflection series 1

Gemma Jiang, PhD
7 min readDec 27, 2022
Sunsets on Lake Hartwell where I live

The film Moments of Happiness made a deep impression on me when I visited the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta in 2019. The idea that we remember life by remembering moments resonated deeply.

The relationship between moments and memory appeals to the nonlinear nature of time that I find increasingly interesting. While we can forget long stretches of time, we remember certain moments as if they last forever. These moments are the gold nuggets that our memories choose to hold onto after mining the river of life. They are like evergreen trees that always give hope.

I have been hosting year end reflection parties in my coaching circles, where participants take turns to offer reflective prompts. In one of the circles, this prompt was offered: What was a defining/enlightening/inspiring moment for you this year?

The prompt reminded me of the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes



Gemma Jiang, PhD

Senior Team Scientist, Colorado State University; Complexity Leadership Scholar and Practitioner; also at