Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.
James W. Foley
Every action however small has a ripple effect, that push out from the source and have effects on all they touch. We cannot know how far our ripples flow, who and what come from our inattentive frown nor our unintended smile.
There is no way to see where our words actually end, the full stop, exclamation or question mark is not the end of a thought, it is the energy for a new one to begin.
We do so much that is blind, it is not just one pebble thrown into the pond but a handful that scatter in the air, splash into the water and in the perceived randomness, patterns form to mix and clash with each other. We may look to the banks to see when the ripples reach the shore but are we paying attention?
What of the ripples we do not start, the ones from others that crash upon us, do we feel them? We may notice the anger rise when we come across those we despise, but do we give rise to those that inspire?
Do we ourselves know what influences our heart, what burns holes into our soul? Do we feel the wave crash though we are nowhere near a sea? The ripples of others effect us too and to dismiss them is to be unaware of the connection we all share, the pool in which we all bathe.
The ripples take time from splash to end and a pebble may have been thrown long, long ago. A tradition passed down from one to the next, patterns that keeps repeating though the source has been lost. The love in heart or the violence of hand, are they within us, or remnants of ripple started, though the owner lost.
The unknown ripple we make can drown a life of value or drive what is ugly to the surface and let it breathe in fresh air for the first time in its existence. What can grow when there is space, what can suffocate when there is none?
These ripples may be tiny, barely visible at all but they drive on and on whether we like it or not. Should we go with the flow, or break the ripples that harm? How can we know which is which when they will all outlive who we are, when we can never see their end, only guess?
Are these ripples our legacy of life or our mark on eternity?
[ an original ]