a red bridge over the pond at dow gardens midland michigan united states

Echoes of the Past

I had the occasion a few months ago to visit a place that I had called home nearly 20 years ago. Most of the people that I knew from that place had moved on and it was filled with strange faces. While many people simply proclaim that to be a place that is no longer familiar and part of the past, I tend to stop and listen. While living in the past is not a recommended thing, I believe that we need to learn the lessons of the past so that we can not repeat the mistakes and become better people. The life we are given is a gift from God and what we do with it is a gift back to him.

As I visited some of the places that I had frequented with many friends, I had something happen that I didn’t expect. I stopped, looked around and just listened. Slowly I began to experience a strange sensation. The echoes of those conversations and moments began to come back to my mind.

Years ago, I watched a TV show that had a moment that is worth remembering. One of the characters that was permanently leaving made a statement.

“I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere…when it is quiet and just listen. After a while, you’ll hear the echoes of all of our conversations. Every thought and word we’ve exchanged. Long after we are gone, our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains.”

Babylon 5, Season 5, Episode “Objects in Motion”

While many friends and family move on from a place and change their lives and ours, we need to pause and remember that influence. While I had moved on from that place, it had truly gone with me and changed me in ways that I had not truly imagined. As I have reflected on the many places that I have lived and worked in, I have to admit that they have left their marks on me as I have left behind a legacy.

The biggest question we face as we move through life is not do we make a difference, but what kind of difference do we make? We all leave a legacy behind us. What does that legacy point to? While my story is not a perfect one, I’d like to think that I have made every place I’ve been a better one. Let that be the legacy that we all leave.