The Impermanence of Legacy

I walked my Labrador this evening. Over hills, through mud, grass, gravel and turf we went, smelling, sniffing and eating things of questionable nature before I could issue a stern “Ka kah!”* Upon our walk, we came across a memorial for local fire fighters. In the sidewalk ambling up laid worn bricks with donors’ names etched. Most of the names were erased by the elements, faint letters visible sporadically, leaving nonsense to be deciphered and speculated.

We lingered only a moment, as my Lab was undertaking a smell inventory. In the pause, I became aware how short human memory and legacies are, despite salesmen’s promises. We are born with nothing; we die with nothing. As a stumbling follower of Yeshua, this doesn’t bother me. I chose to place my trust in him and his words, something I don’t consider transient. This speck of dust does hope to leave some books behind, like the Brontës did in their century.  If anything, someone can use the novels to prop open a door for another. Or level a wobbly table or two on the Enterprise. It could happen.

Legacies are interesting ideas, something I don’t quite believe in. Fundraisers parade them around via bricks, plaques, benches and buildings. Foundations offer to be stewards of money, investing funds into purposes dictated in wills. Buildings fall, benches rot and plaques rust. Money is spent, currency changes and deflation and war erases its value in turn. Families die out, their names retiring. Archives flood; languages fade. You name it, it can be destroyed.

I am hoping my writing will outlast me, dabble with the masters’ works and cause the next generation or two to think. However, I know my novels will not last forever. Thinking, thinking deeply and in quiet, as we do in reading, is an art lost among many, particularly in all the present noise. Desert walks with water canteens should make a comeback. We could all use a retreat or three.

Happy writing. Let’s all endeavor to have our heads screwed on straight, eh?

*This is possibly a family saying. As such, I spelled it phonetically. Basically “leave that alone, it’s dirty.” My Labrador learns to drop something or move on once she hears the word.

Song: “Sign of the Times“, Harry Styles

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