People Watching

Observation
Original photo from Unsplash

Earlier in the morning the lakefront was calm and quiet. A couple of hours later the area was crowded with people, blankets, towels, coolers and the items needed for a day at the beach.

We set up our camp chairs on a grassy slope facing the water. Despite the fact I had a book with me, most of my time was spent people watching.

Laughter echoed in the air as children frolicked in the water. Several were on brightly coloured flotation devices. I watched siblings splash each other and parents introduce toddlers to the water.

A couple carried paddle boards down to the water. They climbed on, quickly found their balance, stood and paddled off. I watched their fluid strokes with admiration.

A little farther out a bright yellow kayak made its way close to the roped off beach area. On the other side of the rope a few speed boats towed water skiers.


The variety of activity was perfect for people watching.

A young boy, about three years old, ran back and forth on the pathway. A butterfly had captured his attention and he followed its flight. When it landed on a nearby patch of grass the boy slowly approached and leaned in for what I assumed was a closer look. I smiled at his curiosity and a moment later was shocked to see him stomp down and grind it into the ground. Not what I expected!

In a public setting, it is easy to watch people. On the lakefront I saw fun and laughter, some sweet loving moments and a few things I wish I hadn’t observed.

Most of us carry on with our lives unaware anyone is watching.

The fact is, I never know for sure if someone has witnessed my actions. I may be the object of someone else’s people watching. If so, what kind of impression am I leaving?

Lasting Impressions

leaf, sidewalkI stepped over the outline of fallen leaves on the sidewalk. At first, I thought the area had been stained by leaves as they decomposed over the winter. Upon closer examination, I discovered these perfect outlines appeared to be etched into the concrete. The foliage had left an impression that altered the appearance of the sidewalk.

As I carried on, my mind was filled with the myriad of influences able to leave a lasting impression on my life. Each have the power to alter the way others view me.
Many of my thoughts were focused on positive experiences that have shaped my life. These enable me to reflect encouragement to those I come in contact with.

People have also left lasting impressions on my life. One of the most significant was my mother. She shaped my life by both her words and actions. Although she passed away over twenty years ago, her influence can still be seen in my life.

From her I learned the importance of family. I learned people are more important than possessions. I learned to support and encourage. Instead of striving for great things, I learned to do small things with great love.

I learned the fulfillment helping others brings. I learned life isn’t always fair but there is still much to be grateful for. I learned to laugh at myself and with others. I learned people feel special when you make them their favourite foods.

These things, and many more, have permanently altered the appearance of who you see today. I am grateful for my mother’s positive influence. There is no greater legacy than to leave a lasting impression of love.