Watching the seeds finally begin to grow, despite the tentative start to spring that we've had here, it got me thinking on the subject of legacies.
Grandad left behind a lot of things, including this photo of himself from when he was working in Switzerland:
And a photo of his mum and uncle as children, with his grandparents (my great great grandparents) from around 1900:
And of course this memory from shortly after my 30th birthday when we went to visit him last Spring:
What we leave behind in this world can take so many forms. I've often thought about this when I've been creating things - artwork, photos, writing, craft - and if anything I've made will leave an impact.
Earlier this year a dear friend of mine, who has supported me in some difficult times, experienced the terribly sad loss of her partner. Friends of hers who had connected with her due to her blog and artwork almost immediately reached out across the world, via this internet magic that we have, to pass a virtual hat around to collect what they could to help her with the financial burden that was adding to her grief. The response was terrific and touching and restored my faith in the generosity of people. It also struck me that the most important legacies we leave aren't in the things we make, but the things we do for others. I find a lot of beauty in the reciprocal nature of this - it's probably the closest I get to believing in karma - to think that the help given to my friend was a reflection on the positive impact herself and her partner had made on others, sometimes even in the smallest of ways.
I was watching this TED talk by Amanda Palmer today which inspired me in a similar way:
Perhaps partly because of all this introspection on the subject of the impact a life can have, I decided to stop selling on Etsy. The decision was a long time coming (in true family tradition, I put it off for some time) but I have to admit, when I finally set up the closing down sales in my shops I felt a sense of relief and release. I can go work on something else now, and it's not too late to do the things I want with my life (and, quite importantly, to figure out what they ARE!). I do feel sad to be leaving behind something I put several years into, but I'm trying not to see it as a failed venture but more as a portion of my life that can inform the next.
I once wrote to my grandad and asked him about my grandma (who passed away before I was born) and he wrote me this lovely story of how they had met.
I hope I leave something behind that will be treasured too.