A six-year-old me stood on a new boardwalk in northern Michigan, I looked down. Initials and names etched patterns into the wood. I wondered why someone would ruin fresh boards, boards still smelling of new wood.
Years later, I pranced over a frozen river with a bottle of orange spray paint. My fiery, blonde haired cousin knew what she wanted to spray, an artist even at thirteen. She saw a concrete canvas and created. I looked up and saw the belly of a bridge. I bubble lettered “Amy Loves Kurt”, and as I sprayed, I knew three things: I didn’t like florescent orange. I didn’t love Kurt, and I burned to leave my mark.
During my fourth year of college, I packed two suitcases and headed to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. My first trip West overwhelmed me. Could those peaks touching the sky really be mountains? When we stopped to photograph the muliti-colored sign that said Colorado, but meant something more, I penned my initials into the base of the sign. I knew if I turned away for a brief moment, my little “AS” would disappear into the words and ramblings of travelers before me, but I still wrote.
What about you? Do you long to leave something behind that remains through the winds and rain? Can you name a person who left a life-changing mark on you?