Down in the basement, Heather searched for yarn. And if that doesn’t frighten you, it should.
Some people, I’m sure, must have basements that practically sparkle, ones that could be rented out as living space or wow the judges on a reality program. Mine tends to descend into a state of nature if left on its own for longer than a week. It’s the sort of place that Indiana Jones might explore with torch and bullwhip, or where Gandalf might issue a warning about the things to be found in the deep places of the Earth.
But that’s where the old crafting material had gone – I thought. And so the archaeological expedition began. Past the baby toys. Around the Christmas stuff. Behind the kennel that was too bent to use …
Suddenly, Heather’s eyes widened. She’d found the yarn, all right. And a little something extra.
“I didn’t know any of these were left!” she said as she pulled out a small “elf hat” – a short, knitted, close-fitting cap seeming to hold all the colors of the rainbow. Heather’s Grandma Val had made several of them before she passed away a few years ago, planning to give them away. A few had made their way to Missy – Val’s daughter and now our ward – after she was gone. But those were treasures of another day, presumed to be long-gone.
Except … now they weren’t. Two caps sat in the box, one finished, the other still attached to a knitting needle, needing just a small amount of work to finish it off.
“There’s not that much left,” Heather wondered out loud as she fingered the rows. “I wonder if I could …”
And for a moment, across the years, Val reached out to touch her one more time.
We’ve all known moments like that, I think. Heck, the universe has known moments like that. In a recent experiment that will probably win someone the Nobel Prize, scientists managed to detect gravity waves for the first time – the slightest tremble of space-time left behind by two colliding black holes around 1.3 billion years ago. The event validated a 100-year-old prediction by Albert Einstein and also confirmed a basic human truth: What you leave behind matters.
We all touch lives. There’s no real way to avoid it, short of living in a hamster ball. But often it’s done without thought or realization. After all, we’re just trying to get through today – who has time to worry about tomorrow?
But tomorrow comes. Some of those choices we make will live on. Shouldn’t we make sure that they’re the parts of us that we want to survive?
Grandma Val planted miniature roses. Some of them are still coming up in the garden now each spring, despite my certified black thumb. A small decision that continues to add a little beauty to the world.
Another friend who recently left us planted stories. Some were his visions of the stories of others, brought to life on a carefully-lit stage. Others were the memories and tales he shared in the gatherings and cast parties afterward, with a wry smile and a bright eye. The best of those stories still makes me laugh … and remember.
What are we planting?
We all plant something, whether we intend to or not. With a little thought, it can be the best of us, whether it’s a work of our hands or a kind word at a hard time. It might seem small, something sure to be forgotten.
That’s OK. Forgotten hats get found. Forgotten flowers bloom. Forgotten energy ripples the universe long after its collision is gone.
Reach out. Care. Touch. Make a mark.
And while you’re at it – don’t forget to clean the basement.