Today was one of those days where I got to ponder the recurring question of what it means to leave a legacy.
Currently, I am between paying positions. It leaves me available to take care of the people I care about: my mother-in-law, my elderly neighbor. I run errands. I chauffeur to medical appointments. I listen to the stories that need to be told. I soak up the experiences of the generation preceding me and I am grateful for every moment.
I see the circumstances that faced the men and women in the past century – where expanding energy and agriculture production seemed like simple answers. They lived in a time where it appeared that resources were boundless, where man’s dominion of the earth was unquestionable. They believed they were entering an age where everything was possible and the costs were neglible. It was a time full of hope and discovery. I don’t fault them one second of it. I would have probably done the same.
We do not live in such an age any longer. We see the end of oil. We see the end of soil. We see that there have been decades of decisions made that will affect generations to come and we are at a tipping point when those past-decisions will come due.
I am not afraid of what will come. Like my predecessors. I am hopeful and I am full of the joy of discovery. We have the perfect opportunity to take the best of the practices of our forefathers and marry them to the best of our contemporaries. We can build solutions to the problems we face with a blend of all that has come before. We can bear in mind what it means to be good stewards of the earth and plan for the beings that succeed us.
I do not have children of my own, nor will I ever – but there are children in my life whom I love and cherish. I see their faces. I hear them asking me (and the adults of the world who also love them) – “How did you live when you were a child?”
I made mud pies in my grandma’s back yard, Shannon.
I ate tomatoes fresh out of our garden, Meaghan.
I lived in hope for you Henrik.
I lived in love for you Elena.
I built a garden and an orchard and a barnyard full of chickens for you to play with. I danced in the rain and I read books at night by candlelight.
I did it for you. I did it all for you.