There are so many analogies and metaphors about footsteps that it seems self-serving to write yet another missive about them. Well, yes in a way it is but it is also my way to explain how everyday events can be used to help me relate stories and thoughts to others.
As an example, just think about all of the places your feet (or wheels) have been: unyielding surfaces like concrete, asphalt, or hard flooring; trackable softer environments like grass, trails, or gravel; malleable places where footsteps can be seen by those of us not gifted as trackers like beaches or sandy areas; and finally areas where footsteps are either not seen or observed then gone like tidal areas, mud, or lake/ocean/river beds.
Now if you focus on one place where your feet have been and think about the surface, your foot impressions or lack thereof, the environment you were in, and any other tidbit of information, your five senses, which provide a more complete picture. Then think of your life, relationships, living condition or history and you may be able to match some or all of the aspects of your footsteps to that place, time or event to create a learning and relatable moment.
As an example, I recently visited Surf City NC and was blessed to have stayed with my family in a beachfront home. There are many memories of those too few days and my camera was ever-present whether in smartphone, compact or DSLR form. On one occasion I was walking along the beach and turned around. My footsteps were as clear as day and using a bit of creative license I generated the image below.
So what can be seen…what storylines can be told?
- Well, I did not appear to walk in a straight line – more of a meandering stroll.
- I also appeared to have joined a fellow sojourner (tracks on the right side of the image).
- The tracks are crisp even in this rendition.
- And they were deep impressions made in the sand.
What can’t be seen…what is outside the image?
- It was a gorgeous Carolina blue sky day.
- The air temperature was perfect even though the ocean ran on the cooler side of the thermometer.
- This track of the beach was near the ocean surf.
- The sand felt cool to the touch and was free of rocks, shells, and other ocean debris making for an easy walk.
- Looking up from my footprints, the row of beach houses and the fishing pier were in close proximity and in varied colors.
- Only a few sea birds were braving to cooler weather and a slight breeze was blowing.
So now what? What about life, relationships or living can I relate to this image? What stories can be enhanced?
I can think of dozens of learning moments that can be applied…here’s just a few:
- how life is a meandering path for most of us
- how we sometimes need to stop, turn around and reflect on what has led us to where we are
- how the impressions we make on others may fade with the waves of time
- how without our knowledge there are others who have gone before, walk with, or follow us on our journey
- how sometimes we need to just look up and see what is around us
You get the idea…right?
So, what small or big image or event can you think of, sit back and reflect on, and then use as an analogy or metaphor for your own personal life’s lessons? How can these bring smiles or understanding to others and lift our hearts?
It’s your choice and your story….tell it well.