it stands on a small-town iowa hillside. it’s been there well over a hundred years, this carved headstone at almost-the-highest-point of the pioneer cemetery. in front of us, the earth falls off into fields and fields of green. if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t know it was there.
we spent the afternoon on the lake michigan beach, searching for hagstones and leaning against a big piece of driftwood watching the waves. mostly deserted, the stripes of soft sand, rocks, aqua, blue sky were serene. we had stumbled upon this beach, discovering it. if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t know it was there.
there is a spot high in the mountains surrounded by lodgepole pines, the scent strong and inviting. it is cool under the canopy of trees and the log sits next to the stream in a bed of pine needles. an upstream glance reveals a snow-covered summit; downstream is a tiny waterfall. it is a slice of heaven. if you didn’t know…
another spot, a different mountain, we have hiked past the aspen stands and are past the end of the trail. we sit on rocks and play in the brook that swims past us, curling around red rock and granite. there is little noise, save for the babbling. if you didn’t know…
high on the edge of a deep canyon, the sun set over us as we echoed our voices into the deepening dusk. my daughter brought me here and it will always be a pinnacle moment in my heart. that very spot – that canyon – that sunset – that breeze – that stillness – that echo – that power – that humbling – that love – is profound. but if you didn’t know…
places that have made an enduring impact. places unmarked by signs, specific places many do not even know exist, they are carved into my mind’s eye. places – specific spots – of relative anonymity. places that changed me.
it is likely that hillside, that beach, those mountains, that stream, that brook, that canyon will maybe last forever. they will certainly be there long after i will be here. it’s sobering. it gives one pause for thought. it seems a natural hop and skip to: if you didn’t know i was there, you wouldn’t know i was there.
but the hillside, the beach, the mountain stream, the end-of-trail brook, the canyon became a part of me, of the stuff in my tapestry. and, in symbiotic turn, i became a part of them, of those spots.
and somewhere along they way, we have done the same – a tiny part of us has become a part of someone else and they a part of us.
and the beat goes on.
and you know.
read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY