Monday, March 23, 2009

Footprints

Spring time is always exciting because to me it represents new beginnings and a chance to re look at life with a fresh perspective. The snow is melting, rain starts to return, and little pieces of grass begin to pop up ever so slightly. It's a chance to rethink our goals and take a moment to reflect on the direction our life is going.

This past weekend I took a walk with my sister Sarah and my niece, little "C," who will be one year old in may. We walked by my parent's house to a park where we used to go as kids. It's a bit different now, with updated plastic playground material instead of the old wood that we used to play on. There are still swings, a slide, a tire swing and lots of little pebbles to get stuck in your shoes. The woods near by are more cleared out now, and a paved path now cuts through to the nearby neighborhood. There are still the imprints of a dog's paw prints on the sidewalk at the corner of my parent's street. As we walked over them with the stroller I was oddly taken back about 20 years.

It was a beautiful, sunny, spring day and I was able to take some wonderful pictures of the three of us. Although we were only out for about 30-40 minutes, it was so fun to revisit a place that I remember being at as a child. Seeing my sister with her little girl was a gentle reminder how life just keeps on going. Even though I may feel like the same person I was 20 years ago at that park, I'm older now and life has changed.

Some things are the same, like the paw prints in the cement, but somethings are different too, like the little feet that will be walking over those next year when we will probably go for a walk to the park again.

Lately I've been realizing how I have tried to follow the footsteps of others and have often been disappointed when I have not met the expectations I set for myself based on their experiences. Perhaps, like the little dog foot prints, other people's paths are meant to be looked at and learned from but not followed exactly. We are each different and must forge our own paths and create our own footprints. Maybe the pebbles at the park are a better representation for how footprints should be followed. We can still see them, but they change constantly with time and we can fill them in our own way as the pebbles allow for a perfect fit. A fit that lets us be who we are and where we are right now.

So, as I'm still pulling little pebbles out of the shoes I was wearing at the park I'm reminded of where my feet were this weekend and the footprints I made and am constantly making where ever I go. Footprints that are uniquely mine. I'm so thankful for spending time with the two of them and for the new perspective the spring walk to the park gave me.

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