It snowed last night. As I look outside, girding myself for the unpleasant chore of clearing the front porch and sidewalk, I notice a set of footprints. Someone has been out early, a lone traveler braving the cold as he journeys through the virgin snow. I wonder who he is, where he’s going, what kind of life he has. I don’t know him, yet I feel as though I do.

I am sixty four years old. I have left some footprints; I hope someone has noticed. Writing is a vehicle for producing footprints. It’s a lasting gift for my family, loved ones, and anyone else who enjoys my work. I can think of few things worse than living a life and leaving nothing of yourself behind. That’s tragic.

The wind is whistling, a hard, remorseless mistral that has somehow found its way to southern Virginia. The snow is drifting and the evidence of the early morning traveler is beginning to disappear. I have my broom and my shovel. It’s time for me to go out into the world and make a fresh set of footprints.