Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Leaving Tracks

The other day, I was washing dishes and looking out the window into the backyard. I own a dishwasher but it broke about 6 or 7 years ago. At first I couldn’t afford to fix it or buy a new one and then I could but other priorities kept/keep rearing their heads so...I keep doing them by hand.

Actually, I sort of enjoy it. Busywork occupies the body while freeing the mind. About the only time it’s necessary to re-engage my brain is when pain or pink soap suds tells me to be more careful with the knives.

I was looking at the snow-covered yard and trying to identify the various tracks I could see. The rabbit’s were easy, as were the squirrel’s. Farthest back in the yard were what might have been a small dog’s or, more likely, a cat’s. Those tracks were older and a slight melt and re-freeze had distorted their shape. Plus, to tell you true, the kitchen window is none too clean. And further to the truth-telling thing, my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

I got to thinking about tracks and leaving marks and how Spring would obliterate those outside my window. But for a few weeks at least, my yard would be an historical testament to critters’ activities.

Which, I’m thinking, is why some of us write, some of us paint, some of us play music, some of us build bridges and most of us have children: we want to leave our mark.

Now, this internet thing, and more specifically, blogs, have made it easy for everybody to leave their tracks. As long as the net, and Google caches exist, so will the tracks of many millions of people.

Right now, my sons have very little interest in what I write. It’s understandable. At their age, I wasn’t all that interested in what my father did either.

But I have a feeling that sometime after I’m gone, they’ll become curious about the marks I left behind and may even enjoy following my trail.


Joanne said...

This is simply a wonderful way to think about our lives and what we do, Frank. I’m sure your boys appreciate you now and will treasure your words in the future.

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Jo. I appreciate your kind words (and suspect you're right about those boys of mine). ;)

Anonymous said...

Interesting story and analogy. Interesting because I thought the very same thing not so long ago. After the heavy snowfall here in BC, I looked at all the tracks of rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, coyotes and even a deer track and was wondering to myself. “Where do they came form and where do they go too.” It’s like live, we often wonder what tracks people make and what tracks they leave behind. As the years passed I seem to find similarities in my tracks compared to those of my parents yet they are very different too.

Thanks for sharing that Frank.

P.S. Blogger log in problems so I have to post as "anonymous"

Frank Baron said...

Hi Othmar. Jeepers, I hope you get your blogger problems fixed. I know sooner or later I'm going to have to go with their beta version but your problems make me even MORE nervous about it.

Dawno said...

What is this thing you call "snow"? I think I remember it from my childhood in Levittown, PA, but I also remember the pixies living in the neighbor's philodendrons...

Lovely post, Frank. I don't see much visible wildlife around here - the occasional duck in the spring. Years ago I saw a racoon in a tree at my old apartment complex. That's about it.

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Dawno. You've given me an idea.

If I don't forget, I'll take my camera with me on a winter walk soon and post some of the results.