Check this photo out. My friend Donna took this photo of an impression a bird made as it landed on her truck windshield. As there was no birdy-body, it’s to be assumed that this wayward avian was able to recover from the impact and fly away, probably a bit dazed, and most likely making a mental note to avoid dusty windshields in the future. Donna says she could imagine if a bird had smacked into a clear windshield, perhaps seeing something within the truck it wanted, but for the life of her, she cannot fathom what attracted this bird to a dusty piece of glass.
Whatever reason led to this bird’s amazing visit and subsequent impression, it got me thinking.
We all make a mark wherever we go; sometimes in a big way by helping a neighbor remove a tree stump, and some impressions are much more subtle. Think about it. As you go about your daily activities, chances are at least once you will interact with one or more other senscient beings, some human, some, in this bird’s case, non-human. You click on a live chat, leave a voicemail, send a text, shake somebody’s hand, offer a smile to a child crossing the street, write a note, visit your grandma, pat your dog, or sit down to dinner with your family.
And with each interaction, you leave an impression. One would generally hope to leave a good impression – isn’t that what we’re taught as kids? But even if the time spent with another was less-than-ideal, at least you always have an opportunity to make amends, clear the air, dust off the disagreement, and make things right.
All of us are on a life path uniquely our own. Yet, as British poet John Donne reminds us, … “no man is an island.” The waves of influence created by us and others wash upon our shores and reverberate throughout our lives. Some waves are barely perceptible, others, like tsunamis, create chaos and transfiguration.
It’s up to us to remember these impressions and hopefully leave our imprints as an inspiration to others.