What matters most? People? Place?
I tell you I am in love with the place, but you know how I feel about the people that this land represents. My husband and my son. They are what make this home, beautiful, safe and warm and welcoming, and complete my wanting to be here. They are indeed what matters. Otherwise, would the view from my window be of no more importance than a random pretty picture hanging on my wall?
Consider the roots my son has here, strong and silent and unseen to the observing eye. Though he has lived elsewhere (twelve “homes” in his first three years, then several years settled in a place he no longer remembers), this is home, where he was raised, schooled, taught life’s lessons, and had room to grow tall and straight and sturdy. How much of this is due to the family that we three became here?
I once heard a person say everyone is replaceable.
“See how long that drop makes a ripple in the bucket of water? That’s how long our impression lasts when we’re gone,” he said. Was he really shallow enough to believe that?
I don’t see life that way. Nor would I want to. Instead, I am saturated by the many drops of water that soak into my skin and become a part of my flesh and blood.
I am affected by people. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am fed, nourished, satisfied.
One of the greatest persons I have known was a man by the name of Bud Jackson who was herding rouge cattle in the mountains last I saw him at ninety. I have a couple of old posts about him Here and Here. In case you didn’t or don’t read those, I want to share this with you. The quote chosen for the celebration of life upon his passing was one attributed to the late, great Jackie Robinson:
“A life is not important except for the impact it has on others.”
Words to live by.
I remind myself.
You do matter. You do leave a lasting impression. Make it a good one.
I, for one, have a long ways to go. I hope I am allowed the time. Better yet, I hope I learn to make the most of the time I am allowed.
Remember how fleeting life may be.
I bow my head in blessings and respect for the family of the youngest member of our community who left a beautiful impact before ever breathing of this fresh mountain air.
3 thoughts on “Impressions”
Hi Gin, I just read (and posted) these words by Joseph Roth in “The Radetzky March”. They seem to sum up the malaise that you describe, which Roth lamented eighty years ago. I stand with you in saying that well-intentioned individuals are irreplaceable.
“In the years before the Great War, at the time the events chronicled in these pages took place, it was not yet a matter of indifference whether a man lived or died. When someone was expunged from the lists of the living, someone else did not immediately step up to take his place, but a gap was left to show where he had been and those who knew the man who had died or disappeared, well or even less well, fell silent when they saw the gap. When a fire happened to consume a particular dwelling in a row of dwellings, the site of the conflagration remained for a long time afterwards. For masons and bricklayers worked slowly and thoughtfully, and when they walked past the ruins, neighbours and passers-by alike recalled the form and the walls of the house that had once stood there. That’s how it was then! Everything that grew took long to grow; and everything that ended took a long time to be forgotten. Everything that existed left behind traces of itself, and people then lived by their memories, just as we nowadays live by our capacity to forget, quickly and comprehensively.”
And in these days of instant gratification, are we to assume we might instantly forget and move on?
I have hope to believe not. Though there are times such sorrow would make us wish we could.
And times our past holds us to forever find the person we are missing.
Thank you for sharing, Julian. I hope for updates on your journey.
You know where home realy is .It is just taking a while to realize it .there may be other places to see and try but only one with roots .Even though you may think the are in shallow ground the are deeper than you think .As the say ” Home is where the heart is “.We know where your heart is .You have our good thoughts always