Leaving a trace

So, I knew it wasn’t likely to be spectacular, but the sunrise choice this morning was either to stay put in front of my PC or to grab my coffee and go watch the sunrise at the ball-field.

I chose the latter obviously, and there is something about downing your coffee while watching the sun come up. Aided by a soft breeze and the fresh air filling my lungs in between caffeinated sips, I entered the weekend in wonderful fashion.

The ball-field is still closed from last week’s tornado but that didn’t stop me climbing over the “do not enter” tape and making sure I could exact whatever sunrise Mother Nature chose to share with me today. The fact that she got her feathered minions to aid in my shot was very much appreciated and I hope you like!

But the inspiration for today’s blog didn’t come from the sunrise, actually. It was when I got back home and took a little stroll around my yard with my best friend Coco by my side (see the pics at the end of this) that the thoughts began to play properly around inside my head.

We came across a plant (commonly called a Ginger Pinecone, or Bitter Ginger) that all of a sudden started growing in my yard the year before last. It’s a tropical plant and is commonly used in cooking or in hair treatments in such exotic destinations as Hawaii.

But the origins of my plant are not from such far away places … it happens to be growing where Mrs Brisby used to sleep the year before last. Mrs Brisby was a gorgeous doe that graced my life for a just over a year ago.

We engaged in conversations (admittedly mostly one-sided) and shared food on her daily visits. She showed me her baby fawn one evening before they both disappeared from my life and I felt privileged … almost part of the family, even.

So, however she left the seed behind in that one corner, she ensured that each year, I will think of her and revisit our shared memories thanks to this perennial ginger plant.

And the whole thing got me thinking this morning about how we touch lives and leave traces or marks behind us when we are gone.

Within families and friends our traces typically stay a generation or two and those who seek fame try to leave a mark in history that lasts “forever”. In truth, there is no worthwhile trace that can be left forever as all feeling and sentiment fades quickly, with only a token black and white definition left beyond that for even the most ardent of history makers.

For example what do we really know of Julius Caesar as a person … what his emotions were, how he treated his loved ones, or what his friends and family really thought of him and their time together?

So the real measure of us as a person is not in a historical reference but in the impact that we have in those around us while we are alive. It is why love is such a powerful ingredient in the make-up of each human being. Love for family and friends, love for all living creatures, and love for the planet that we temporarily get to live on.

If we mute that ingredient while we fill our pockets, seek control, and build walls, then we miss the point of life entirely.

Even Mrs Brisby knew the true value of life and whether she deliberately planted a seed for me or inadvertently just left her trace in a more natural happening, she left behind a friendly trace that will remind me of our time together long after our direct encounter.

Do we leave such reminders behind us? Do we leave a trace or a memory that brings a smile to others when they think of us?

Do we leave a little creature living and raising their family somewhere because we chose to make a difference? Do we leave a wild plant blooming somewhere because we gave it a safe environment in which to grow?

I guess what I am trying to say is that if we don’t, then we should.

Leave a positive trace somewhere this coming week …. make the world a better place for your having been here!

4 thoughts on “Leaving a trace”

  1. There’s nothing better than leaving a trace with the aid of plants, so beautiful and organic! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this… very touching…
    Long live the seeds of trace!!!

    Btw Shampoo Ginger (Zingiber zerumbet) is one of my favorites ginger plants!!

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