Recently someone passed on that has left a footprint with me that I didn’t know was there. I figured it out when I passed the Quaker Meeting House the other day and he popped back into my head.
When I heard he died I saw serenity around it even though I had not seen him in a while. The last time was while singing songs for peace on a dark night. I felt the loss but I didn’t immediately wish I had seen him since then or even more often. And that speaks to the kind of man he was to me. I didn’t know him like so many did but he was one who could leave a wide path.
The mark he left with me looks like an umbrella but not because he was a large man and could protect from the elements but because he was wise. It looks like a new box of crayons that is waiting for hands to create beautiful pictures because his artistry was evident in everything he did. And it looks like a bursting tree on a summer day because he was full of life.
And in his unknowing way he let me sit under that tree without having to ask permission because the footprint he left with me is all about being strong in our beliefs and calm in our kindness.
Under the tree with his footprints all around I remember that he smiled whenever he saw me. I am sure I noticed it then because I was always glad to see him in a meeting or peace event or even the occasional bumping into each other in a local store.
But as I drove around doing errands a couple of days ago I thought more about this man I didn’t know as intimately as others did and then instead of feeling like I missed out I felt instead the grandness of a person who lived his life as he wanted to.
This remarkable man passed on and I am so glad he didn’t sweep away the tracks he made. We should take a look at the footprints we leave everyday and see how often we can smile at the trail they make.