for Kevin on his birthday

you give me the greatest gift
I could ever have asked for

the knowledge and reassurance
that there was never a plan
just a life built from the simple act
of taking the next right choice
then the next and the next
until it begins to form its own
majestic pattern with a meaning
that will keep evolving forever

it gives me faith that although
I cannot see the next stone
on the path that leads me through
what seems to be a raging current
my feet will somehow find it
and i can stand on that solid space
for at least a moment before i stretch
or even leap to the next bit of rock

i have seen and heard you retell
how the little pebbles that inevitably
drop from our pockets cause ripples
that spread slowly outward
even if we cannot see their impact
against the churning river or the
irresistible pull of the tide

our lives cannot always be
a still and silent pool into which
every choice reverberates clearly
but even in chaos when we cannot see
the impact our journey has made
it is there nevertheless and perhaps
those fallen stones we leave behind
like fairytale talismans will slowly
accumulate leaving a new foothold
for the people who come after us

thank you for forging a beautiful path
and for believing in me to find my own

water wipes the scent of what came before
but the legacy of stepping forward, always
shifts the rocks and smooths the path
for those we love and those we will never know

Note: Last night, I took my dad out to sushi as part of an early birthday present. We talked a bit about life, about the discoveries we are each making. I was touched, yet again, at his wisdom and insight, something that has become increasingly precious to me over the years. We laughed too. I wanted to capture the moment, so I wrote this. It is perhaps not quite as distilled as it could be for maximum impact, but I just followed the river until it stopped flowing.

Photo by Matt Walsh on Unsplash