“Do not follow where the path may lead,
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think back to those loved ones who silently left golden pebbles on a trail for me to follow. I was always aware of geography and the many places in the world. My father took us on several road trips and he used to take us to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. He gave us vision and we have all been blessed with extensive travel.
I began to collect the golden pebbles that were dropped by others. Some family members lived in places that I had not seen but I would listen to their stories and add that locale to my “places to see list.”
Atlanta, Paris, and Boston were some of the places where some of them took up temporary residence. I marked these locations on a wall map and became intrigued as they talked about the scenery, the food, the culture, the people or the weather.
As we travel through life, we never know which sets of young eyes are watching our choices in life. We make our decisions and we may unknowingly be creating a wish list for those coming behind us. We could be blazing a trail as they make their little tick marks on a wall calendar or in a diary entry.
I remember the scene from The Color Purple when the older sister, Celie was on the train heading for Memphis after leaving Mister. She sees a little girl who is playing along the tracks who reminds her of her younger sister, Nettie.
She takes the golden chips, which may have been candy, from the waiter’s tray as she stands on the back of the train’s caboose. She throws these golden pebbles to the girl who actually turns into Nettie in her mind.
She is envisioning that she is leaving a trail for Nettie to follow. Ultimately, her long-suffering association with Mister plays a role in freeing Nettie. He breaks down and pays for Nettie and her family’s re-entrance into the country after returning from Africa.
That’s what our mentors do. They leave us a trail to follow which guides and leads us at least for a while. Those golden pebbles give us hope and help us to create new vistas in our minds and hearts. Then, at some juncture, we may come to a fork in the road and set out onto a new untraveled route and become trailblazers ourselves.
We never know who we might be impacting so we must mindfully drop those golden pebbles through journals, photos or conversations. It makes it easier for those who are coming behind us.
Lynn M. October 16, 2016