Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunpooled footprints

An azure orb of sky stretches over bristling gray trees, a calm duck pond, and the expanse of indigo mountain that sleeps along the horizon.  The pond reflects thin white wisps where once a plane traversed, but already the lines unravel into azure. 

As I trek across the wintered field, dodging "moo-poo" (Ezra's clever coinage) while grasping a little hand in each of my own, the plodded paths of cows become more evident.  Overlain hoofprints keep the grass at bay in some areas and clear larger swaths around the waterers and vitamin-block holders.  Mud sucks prints off Joey's boots as he runs ahead to follow the distinctive tread from tractor tires threading through gates toward the barn.

In the field on the edge of the woods, we find an abandoned birdnest, wound from coarse tendrils of cow hair, pine needles, and even shriveled, slate-colored cedar berries.  Sleek black feathers, shimmering with turquoise and purple when twirled in sunlight, and fluffy feathers like unmeltable snow dot our path back to the house. 

Traces of life abound around us.  Not only those we found during our walk today, but also the finger trails on handmade pottery, colorful toddler footprints plastered to a recent painting, tire tracks along a snow-covered road, kiss marks on glass (left by a compassionate almost-two-year-old), cookie crumbs trailing across the floor, a circle of leaves showered from a tree, ...

What types of traces can you add to our list, friend?  What traces are you leaving with each step you take?  Imagining the evidence of my life in its wake, I am more mindful of the ways I live and the impression I make.  When waves of time lap my footprints from the shore, will the world be sad to see those traces go? 

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