“Take nothing but memories,
Leave nothing but tracks”
-attributed to Chief Seattle (Chief Si’ahl)
My mother’s father was: a naturalist, a boy scout master, and always eager to share his knowledge. As we walked trails, fields, mountains, and valleys, he constantly quoted, “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but tracks.”
Leaving an impression on my young mind, he triggered my fascination with tracking animals
… and humans. So much to be discerned from studying perspectives of what creatures leave behind.
Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
Look behind you.
Yes, look, right now.
What evidence have you left in the past 10-minutes of your daily routine?
A light smudge,
A heavy disturbance,
A micro-fiber from your shirt?
Or no discernible trace?
Your movement leaves a signature.
You’re taking memories.
You’re leaving tracks.
Tracks to be read.
When reading tracks, it’s helpful to:
1 Rest your head at surface level
2 Firmly plant your temple on the ground
3 Now your eye sees particles as paramount
If you see nothing where you are, a quick look along the edge of the seat in your car can be revealing. Next, explore the floor in your home, where the carpet wears. The closer you look, the more you’ll wonder..… “From where did each particle originate?”
Every crumb a story.
What story do we weave by the tracks we leave?…
Not just on the ground, but in real life all around?
The effects we leave on the ones we love.
What stories will be told when our kids are old?
How would your life’s tracks be described?
Heavy? Light? Or, no discernible trace?
Were they fossilized in stone?
Or as footprints in the sand, that daily wane by wind & wave?
As others describe the tracks of our legacy ….
Are the tracks discernible from any angle?…
Or is their head on the ground searching for a slight distinction from a weathered impression?
From this perspective, you’ll see…
Every track is as individual at the traveler.
Every traveler is as unique as the struggles they’ve endured.
Life’s details are revealed in the traveler’s tracks…
All of life, good & bad.
And what about life’s imperfections?
We all process life’s unexpected events by making decisions and distinctions. As if we get to choose what we carry and what we leave behind. How we categorize and prioritize is based on what matters most in our journey.
The baggage we do carry is evidenced in the tracks we leave. The weight of our baggage amplifies the depth and definition of our imprint. Our baggage is what enables us to leave a bolder impact on those we encounter daily…
The big secret is: Your baggage is your gift…
You don’t choose your gift. But you do choose how to use it. How you open, manage, and implement that gift becomes part of your identity. The distinctions you choose to make and live by have the power to ultimately amplify or limit the degree of love you share. Aand always remember, some gifts can be returned!)
Embrace your struggles as the gift they are:
Grow from your gift,
Share your gift with others,
Every step we take leaves a print.
Everyone we love receives our impression.
Make your track bold.
Make your track positive.
Make your track memorable.
In small steps,
Or a giant leap,
Live your legacy,
Celebrate it all!