It’s funny how empty significance can feel. The world goes on, while we know our life has changed. On our worst days, it’s easy to believe we’re insignificant. On our most significant, sometimes it feels as if we alone realize how very much we each impact the world.
I have seemed quiet, like still water in a deep river. But still waters are just an illusion. Life flows through rivers in currents unseen. If I listen to the stillness, I find its current churning and see along its path the lives that have been touched through its passing. It’s in the smallest signs of impact that we see the greatest hope. The holiest of things in life are the ones that repeatedly make us take pause, remind us of the value of significance, and eventually feel hope. A sunny day in a town known for its cloudy ones, an act of kindness in a place known for its hostility, a child surviving an impossible disease after so many have died from it, these things remind us that outcomes aren’t always predetermined. There is hope in the knowledge that the essence of life is an often unprecedented change. In those moments of significance when I seem the most still, I find myself floating on that hope for change, the one I have no reason to believe should come. That hope that pushes out the fears of insignificance and lulls the worries of not impacting another. It is the current unseen.
I find life is deeper than we think, more connected than we realize, and just as we think that that we’re stuck in a place we didn’t imagine, we find an unseen current has been pushing us on to a place we don’t yet understand. Though our experiences are different, the essence of the ones that matter are so very much the same.
Because I promised, I’ll share Nathan’s story. I’ll remind you that in it, I see hope. He is a source of hope and his impact on the river, is yet to be seen. I invite you to hear Nathan’s story and share it :
*photograph taken by the NTSAD photographer Sarah Mattingly