Leave Your Mark
In all our years of living in our home, we have never done any significant work to the area surrounding our house. Our back porch has always lead onto a sorry looking patch of grass. There used to be a big almond tree behind our home and so this area never used to get much natural sunlight. Even after the shadows of the almond tree were long gone, the grass never quite took to this part of our back yard.
Finally, the time had arrived to extend some homeowner’s care back there and we decided that it would be best to cast the area with concrete and to modernise the look with an outdoor tile.
Naturally the rainy season, which had been pretty uneventful thus far, kicked into high gear the very day we broke ground. In the week since we have dug into the earth all around our home we have braced for a tropical storm that never showed up and withstood the storm gales of an unannounced system.
Finally, we had a bit of a reprieve today and were able to mix and cast the concrete. I watched on in awe as the men skillfully poured and leveled the cement with exacting precision. By the time they left for the day, the back portion of our yard was completely even and smooth.
My husband, being a goodly neighbour, went next door to clean up some of the splashback from the day’s happenings. I made my way to the kitchen to start preparing dinner. Within a minute I heard him shout out to me to go to the back porch. I ran as quickly as I could, wondering what could be the matter.
What I saw needed no explanation.
Our littlest love, on seeing her daddy in the yard next door, decided that she would join him. So she pushed the porch gate open and proceeded to step outside. Right onto the freshly cast concrete.
Thankfully, I caught her just in time before her entire journey was forever set in stone.
I quickly cleaned up behind her and washed away the cement from her shoe. I then went back to survey the yard. Her little footprint was etched ever so gracefully right at the threshold of the porch.
I looked at it and smiled. She had left her mark.
And right then, it hit me. What are we waiting on to leave our mark?
We tend to think that conditions must be right. That everything must be in perfect alignment. That our mark is only left at the very end when our work is finally done.
But the truth is, the time to leave our lasting footprint is now. Even though around us may still be messy. Even though there may still be much work to be done. Even though a perfect end result hasn’t yet been achieved.
Because this is when it matters. This is when those around us are most receptive to what we have to offer. Now, as we hurt. Now, as we learn. Now, as we falter. Now, as we journey along.
Our mark doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be indelible. On the contrary, it is when we step out boldly and offer our whole selves in the midst of imperfections and despite there being further work to be done, that we leave the most lasting impact. Because we show up authentically. Because we embrace mistakes. Because we understand that to be a work in progress is something to be celebrated, not condemned.
Had my little love stepped outside tomorrow when the concrete was dry, we would never have noticed. Her imprint would not have been felt. Her surroundings would not have been affected in the least by her mark.
Now, I ask you…What mark do you want to leave on this world?
And what if I told you that the time to leave that mark is now?