Debbie Salter Goodwin
Where Will I Leave My Mark?
Not too long ago I toured Timberline Lodge.
Located on the south side of Oregon's Mt. Hood, the lodge stands as a monument to man’s creativity and resourcefulness. It nestles into the mountain with the nurture of a mother hen for her chicks. Built in the Depression by the Works Progress Administration, the lodge gave work back to many who had lost a way to provide for their families. Not only did it return hope, it returned community and artistry.
Walk into the lodge and its massive hand-carved wood, intricately bent metal, and stacked stone esmerizes. Only when you hear the stories do you understand that what you see is art with a heart. Like the wheelchair bound man who worked the wrought iron or those who thought to repurpose tire chains as fire screens.
When the guide told us about the craftsmen who carved their names into the wood they lifted and pounded, I understood how this edifice became legacy. While their mark was in every log they sanded and every stone they set, their name personalized their contribution.
I began to wonder, where will I leave my mark?
I have bylines in many places, but many who read my material will never really know me. My “mark” only says I have intersected with them briefly.
Is that enough? Is that where my “mark” makes a difference?
Perhaps it is because I am entering that last productive stage of my life that drives this question. You see, I had another birthday. The years before me are less than years behind. I sense an urgency to do what I was put on this earth to accomplish. While writing will be part of my legacy, more than likely it will not have much of a life beyond mine. What will? Isn’t that what I must make sure I accomplish?