This morning I skipped a rock that hopped five times across the water before plunking to the bottom of the creek bed—a personal record. I stopped then and rested from my run/hike across the countryside behind my house, thinking deep thoughts about the impact of one life upon another life.
People skim over the surface of my life, like the rock making ripples in the water, and only a few sink deep. What a gift these ones are, who have nestled even in the muddiest part of my heart. Despite that part, really.
Yet, those that have rippled by have changed me too. Perhaps it seems that the change is only at the surface level, but those ripples continue to impact me long after they have died away and after the people who have caused them have gone out of my life. Those words you spoke, the ideas you shared, the deeds you did, continue with me.
She loved me for who I was, even though we shared a room for only a week at summer camp.
He shared my love of books and discussed them for hours on end with me.
Her name completed the puzzle of my own, which led us to walk around with arms linked for half a day (at least) proclaiming that together we were “Anastasia.”
She encouraged the gift of writing that she saw glimmering beneath my overactive adolescent imagination.
Their influence was short, but decisive. The ripples continue to extend.
And those who have sunk deeper? It is almost too great for words to express how they have supported, and comforted, and known me.
At any moment, these too might be chosen and flung far away to influence another, or chosen and carried away to rest in the nooks and halls of another, better home.
Will I know the time or the hour? No.
Will the hollow remain when that one, that stone, is taken away? Probably.
Why can they not stay forever? I do not know.
His ways are not my ways.