Traces


Traces

I stand at your shore,

Toes sinking in the wet sand –

Your tides rise, are they here to greet me?

They skirt my ankles,

And as quickly as they rise, they recede, and leave.

Leaving salty traces -

like tears that could be yours or mine,

but never ours.

Are they?

You’ve stayed the same –

Dear ferocious, unpredictable ocean.

Holding on to your storms to yourself

until you cannot.

As have I, standing at your shore,

Fearfully, expectantly, predictably, patiently

Sometimes sinking in the wet sand,

amidst the salty traces you leave behind.

On it. On me.

Traces that leave me, yet make me.

Weathered.

~

© Nandita Godbole | 12.05.19

~

In this last month of another decade, we all look back at what the last 10 years have meant, how life has changed, and how it changed us.

I could count the many loved ones that are no longer around, the losses, challenges, and issues – but like the tides and waves of life – here we stand, weathered.

Many unexpected moments defined my decade – even though it did not have a great start. But within a few months, we were braving up to take on a bi-coastal-and-still-married-life, exhausting choices that created space to be creative, to experiment, to plan and dream, to explore what was possible, and learn sorrowfully - what was not.

I’ve done, spoken, taught, driven, cooked, driven some more, cleaned, directed, photographed, hustled, written more than I ever thought possible and discovered people using my work as a reference (!) In just the last 6 years, just my own car has acquired nearly 72K miles, and we’ve added possibly just as many on cars we rented. You can only imagine the millions of moments spent pondering the deeper meanings of everything.

But we’ve also built and rebuilt life figuratively and literally in this time. It has made me grey, tightened my realist bent, kept me a cautious optimist. I have never liked some things – now I also say it.

I was reminded yesterday that a vast majority of people I know, do, but only because of my work. Even my innermost circle is tiny, and even within it - our relationships are not as deep.

And there are some who have likely circled a date on a mental or actual calendar to check in with me. Maybe there is a calendar reminder or a scrawled set of words somewhere in their mind. Somewhere, sometime, somehow there are traces. Maybe it is their ‘check-in-with-X’ day. Maybe someone else reminds them of me.

And the key word is those traces, that become ‘remembering’.

Such is life - when ‘your’ ‘being’ is not measured by the accolades, but by the quality of the times that you matter, of the traces, of remembrance that you leave when you aren't in the same space as the other.

Life does not change being life – you remembering to show up for every day is what makes it matter.

And what you do when you show up, becomes everything.

AUTHOR

Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect.

Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & poet. 

 

Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 

 

Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 

 

Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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