“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
These tire tracks are a lot like a person’s life. You cross paths with a variety of people over the years. Some leave faint impressions, others deep, some messy, some nearly disappear as if they were never there. All of us make these connections every day. Together, we create a beautiful cross stitch pattern that sustains us throughout our lives. It’s very rare that I make the acquaintance of someone with whom I’m sorry I did so. In fact, off hand, I can’t think of anyone. Mind you, I’ve met a few I didn’t like, but they had plenty to teach me just the same. Rarer still, crossing paths with someone that imprints your heart from the very moment you meet them. One of those people was my friend Opal. You met Opal in the outhouse the first year, and she popped up again last year just before she turned 107. She has lived an exquisite life, the stuff of dreams, really; traveled everywhere, done everything. She was a maverick; a shero to many a crossing tread. So, it is not with sadness, but incredible gratitude that I bid Opal so long for now. Yesterday, she went on to her next great adventure. Now, we both have birthdays on January 8. Yet another thing we have in common. Thank you, Opal, for teaching me how cool behaves. May I live to be half as awesome as you.