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  • Betty Girardeau

The Footprints We Leave


Have you ever thought about what you are going to leave behind when you are no longer there? I know that if we have children and grandchildren, we know there is a legacy there. But what about, not just when you die, but also when you move away? Most of us at my age have moved at least one of more times from houses that we owned, or, perhaps, even rented. Usually during our stays in those locations we added things that will live on and, hopefully, be enjoyed and appreciated by the next owners. This time of year and into the early summer as I drive back country roads I see evidence of former inhabitants who wanted to bring special beauty to their environment. Clusters of daffodils in the spring and day lilies in the early summer along the roadsides attest to an earlier person, most likely a woman, who planted the bulbs or the tubers to beautify the area around her home. These are not plants that got there because the birds ate seeds that they dropped along their flight path, nor ones whose seeds were spread by the winds. Over time new roads were built and the earth was moved, thus displacing the original homes for these bulbs and tubers. But they found purchase in their new space and continued to enhance the world just as their original planter had dreamed and wanted. These days, as I lament the loss of close friends and neighbors who have moved away to be closer to their children, I can still sense their presence, just as I can with those who many more years ago departed and left their daffodils and day lilies, because they left beautiful flowers behind that I can still enjoy. These bloomers are their remaining footprints of the days they spent in this shared space. What a gift they have left.

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