Proof That I Was Here

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver

It is my habit to wander a bit in the mornings, on my way to other places. On this particular morning, I stopped for just a few minutes at Bernel Road Park. Everything is green there, and it was a bit overcast.

I walked along the pretty pathway and stepped into the wet grass to photograph some wildflowers (daisy fleabane, thanks for asking). And then I started walking back out to my car. There is never enough time, is there, to see it all; to fully enjoy this one wild and precious life? But surely, we can try.

I turned for one last shot of this nice curve in the pathway, and I spotted my own tracks behind me. My wet feet (in Crocs, of course, as I simply MUST walk everywhere, come mud, come water) had left them there. As I knelt down to take a closer photo, they began to disappear. I felt wistful. It was an object lesson on the impermanence of all of these beautiful things.

It reminded me of one time, years ago, up north, when my husband and I had camped out in a damp field. In the morning, we spotted bear tracks, wet from the morning dew, steaming on the road in the sun, disappearing almost instantly. It felt like magic; we couldn't have been far behind that bear. I almost wondered if the bear was real, or if maybe it was something we had dreamed.

And so on this day, I marveled at my own footprints, left on this ground. So ephemeral: here, and then gone. I try not to take things away from the places I go, and I try to leave no mark of my passage. But the dew-damp footprints delighted me deeply. It may not last, but look: here's proof that I was here!

I'm not really sure why, but I want this to be my soundtrack song: Gary Wright, with Dreamweaver. For surely, life is but a dream.

A possibly related blip: The Footprints of Ghosts.

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