Drops of History
History is the ocean. History is the ocean at night as the tide pulls resolutely and inevitably out into oblivion. History is the ocean at night when the eye cannot quite see the border between the realms of sea and sky. History is the ocean at night when the lights at the back of the watcher illuminate nothing more than the lively, foaming, white caps of each wave. Those caps look like hordes of sprites, running and leaping and rushing and falling over each other on their happy way to land. When I look long enough, and personify deeply enough, and empathize strongly enough, those sprites become people. As I stand and feel generation after generation wash up against my legs, I travel through time.
Each discordant line of foam turns into dozens and hundreds and thousands and millions of people. The current of the wave underneath the surface, barely seen as a lighter dark in the dark of the salt water, is an idea that raises up and connects countless souls. Sometimes the idea carries no more than a few. Sometimes it crosses as far to the left and to the right as I can see. The idea has a life of its own. It struggles to carry and pull and connect as many souls as it can capture. As it links across space and travels forward through time, pushing desparately toward the sand that is reality, sometimes new caps form as new souls pick up the ideas and take them to heart. Sometimes the caps reach across and join hands with other thousands of souls, carrying and being carried by the idea that they hold in their hearts.
It truly is a touching sight to see hands joined across the world, propelling an idea through to realization. These souls want nothing more than to shape the sands just a little better before they are pulled back into oblivion. I feel victorious as I watch many of these lives come to fruition. I mourn for those that do not quite have the strength to finish the race. My heart races as souls which have completed their live’s work give in to the pull of the great oblivion, fall backwards toward the unknown, sometimes undercutting the ideas which have not quite made it. It saddens me to see such effort and strength come to aught, but after the cleansing done by dissipated souls on their way to rest, the waves that come are the strongest, and tallest, and healthiest, and make the biggest marks in the sand.
It never does end. From the beginning of time, these waves of people have rushed together through their lives, through history, changing everything in their paths, changing, strengthening, bonding with the people around them, completing their mission, or not, then falling back with a sigh of relief, and again affecting everything with their passing. No wave changes the beach in exactly the same way. No wave takes the same shape or size as another. But every idea affects every drop of history, in some way, eventually.