Sometimes I go walking in the winter and I see how the wind gradual but consistent does things to the snow. It makes shapes you would never expect from a random force. It makes high piles and low troughs. It makes shapes that look anything but random.
Many times I look at the course of a persons life, and all the forces that act upon it. We are a lot less random than wind and snow, but sometimes we are not looking. We just put our heads down, do our best most of the time, our worst some of the time, and the result is the result.
Like the shapes in snow and reed and leaf, we may be surprised after 20 years or so at where our winds have blown us. When we respond to life in one predominant way, it’s not unlike a steady wind. And the substance that is shaped and blown is not a mound of snow. No it’s our lives, and our places in them. It is the load of disappointment, and weariness, toughness and hope, as well as confusion, blindness or clarity that has worn itself upon us. After we’ve gone through enough years we look up and find out where the forces of life that we’ve been pushing against have done with us.
How did I get this way, how did we get to this place? It’s life creeping up, but it’s also the force of the un noticed and disregarded having it’s slow and steady impact, one we don’t see until it’s kind of built up little by unnoticed little.
And when that moment comes when we puzzle out how this all could happen, and what to do now, then a moment of clarity can happen. Life’s winds still blow. But we can remember who we are, what we want to be and be guided by that. There are still more years to move through. We can see what the ones that have passed have etched. So we know that we can influence the etching that is yet to come.
Especially, if we can let go of the hardships of the years that have past, we have a good chance to “etch a different sketch.” It’s always just a little more complicated than we expect. Surely it’s a collaboration, how we meet life, and how it comes to us. But for those who are living a life with eyes open, the creative possibilities are immense and maybe even exciting.