years ago when i turned 30 we celebrated by going to the zoo. we spent the day, along with my parents and my niece, traipsing around admiring animals, learning factoids, taking pictures, eating ice cream. i’m not really a zoo person. i prefer to think of animals living happily in the wild, supported by a world that is thoughtful, careful and ecologically minded. but i do recognize the need to conserve endangered species, study wildlife and inspire education and preservation of species and their natural environments.
it just so happened that the day we visited this zoo, this day that i turned the big 3-0, they were pouring cement sidewalks. there is a wee letter ‘k’ in that sidewalk. a mark.
we all want to leave a mark. is it an invention? is it a passing-down of a precious heirloom? is it a name on a bench in a personal, special place? is it a work of fine art, a painting, a piece of music? is it a story? is it a world record? is it a mindset? is it a way of being on this good earth?
i’m not sure when they last poured the surface on townline road. but on that day, a certain seagull decided to leave a mark. it walked across the freshly poured street – pad, pad, pad – and, until they pour again, its mark will remain. we smile every time we walk past this set of prints, wondering aloud how long they have been there.
as we continue our time here, we are aware both of the mark we are leaving and the mark people are leaving on us. in many years from now, when the road is paved over and we are no longer, i would hope that most of us led with the mark my sweet momma left, “be kind to each other.”