“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” — Flavia Weedn
I hadn’t heard or seen this quote in its entirety before! I had only heard the first and last sentences strewn together, skipping over the ones in between. This inspirational quote is often used to ease the pain of missing someone who has gone from our life in what we think was too short a time and to acknowledge the depth of the impact they have left on our hearts.
But why must it refer only to those who have gone from our lives too quickly? We need only remove the phrase “and quickly go” to read this as relating to many more people throughout our lives. So many people have come into my life and while some have stayed but a very short time, others have either remained constant in their presence or constant in heart even while we’ve been separated by both time and miles.
What joy there is in those who have moved our souls to dance! How our lives have been enriched by those whose “passing whisper of their wisdom” has awakened something in us that may otherwise have remained dormant forever. And what creative artistry must one possess to make even the sky more beautiful? Each person who has done one of these things has given us gifts beyond measure. But there are those precious few who, by their very presence in our lives, have provided all of this and changed our lives forever.
And yet, there are others who we may have known only from a distance. Not the superstars, the celebrities, authors, politicians or the like, but the everyday people who may have seemed insignificant in our lives, who may have only crossed our path for a brief moment of life. What of them? To paraphrase Gandhi — “whoever you meet may seem insignificant at the time, but it is most important that you know them.” There are those with whom we may have had only a fleeting encounter and yet they have somehow left us richer for the experience. We may not even be able to recall them to mind when asked, but when they are mentioned, something strikes a chord within us that says “yes, I remember her, her smile always made me think the world was a better place” or “I knew him once, he did a simple thing for me that was nothing more than his job but he taught me how to make others feel important” or “I was a stranger and she made me feel like I belonged” or “he just accepted me for who I am.”
These are the people who come into our lives and quickly go, whether we actually know them or not, whether we interact with them once or a dozen times, whether we form friendships for short periods of our youth, whether or not we ever even have a chance to tell them that they changed our lives for the better. If we simply open ourselves to the possibility, we may find innumerable footprints on our hearts and we will know that, in fact, after every encounter “we are never, ever the same.” It’s up to us to determine if we will use that change to move someone else’s soul to dance.