We sat in the sand, our eyes to the sun. The cool breeze flew and danced in tiny circles around us, just strongly enough to make sure our hair never stayed as put in place as we wanted. The waters crawled up in suds and salt, pulling back down all they could into the deep unknowingness that is the sea.
We loved that in-between-tides feeling, when we’d rub our feet in the sand-turned-mud, our footprints sticking to the earth like plaster, a trace of ourselves. We’d look at those footprints, all different sizes, and the way they changed the sand. And in that moment, before the ocean came back to claim its own, we saw those footprints and that we were powerful. We looked at the changing sands and saw they could be molded.
Today I see the world as it is, and not as it was or will be. I see the physicality and the culture and the people that all make up my lens of normal. I see the graveyard and the stones that are ever increasing in number, and I am sure that when the owners of those headstones lived, they, too, saw the world as it was and not as it would be in my time.
But, in a way, aren’t they the holders of the reasons of why my world is its way? Aren’t they, too, footprints, many, many footprints, each of which, for better or for worse, shifted the sands and composition of my world- the way it would look and feel and the things that would be important?
Each of these footprints, distinct in a way. Each a custom and one of a kind design. And every one of these footprints with their own mark to make, and marks that have changed the world, in unique, individual ways.
Every one of these footprints with a gift.