By Andy Christian Castillo
Actions, thoughts and ideas imagined a hundred years ago influence actions, thoughts, and ideas imagined in the present. And those soon become the past, influencing future actions, thoughts, and ideas. For better or worse the past constantly molds us like a master potter spinning clay on a wheel. As fast as time spins, we are formed by the past. We’re changed into something different, something more beautiful with each passing sunset.
Like a single thread of yarn stretching into the void of history, attached to solid mooring of ancestral days, unraveling ever on toward the future. The thread connects all of us, from the simplest peasant to the grandest king, past, present, and future. Every beautiful life hangs as a colorful flag on that thread, gently waving in the breeze of time.
The present is the past; the past is the present. Where we stand at any given moment defines our perspective.
When the present moves either to the left or to the right, the thread moves also. It turns like a compass on a rooted axis, bending taut around milestone events, ever defining the present, which is where we stand now.
When William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims disembarked on the shores of a new world, they they didn’t comprehend how deep their footprints would settle. However, those first steps onto Plymouth sand set in motion a chain of events that led to the deaths of innumerable amount of people, and life for the same amount. Those first steps created the present.
When Galileo pointed a rudimentary telescope toward the Milky Way in 1610 he didn’t know that one day humans would walk in space. Those actions, though, created a present for Neil Armstrong when he proclaimed “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
When the earliest humans stenciled their hands on a small cave in Sulawesi, Indonesia, they couldn’t imagine robots or cars or skyscrapers that touch the sky. They couldn’t have envisioned the billions of elaborate art pieces that decorate walls and inspire billions of people today. But those hands imprinted on what was to come.
And when my great-grandfather decided to travel to the United States from the Philippines, he couldn’t have imagined that one day his legacy would live on in the writing of his great grandson. He didn’t know the impact he’d have on so many people who never knew him.