A guy I knew referred to himself as an inn. Where people come and go, sometimes leaving an impression, sometimes not. Sometimes leaving in a burst of anger, sometimes returning again for the hospitality of the host.
I don’t disagree.
But this description doesn’t apply to me.
See, in an inn, all of them who enter are guests. The host remembers, or at least, have records of who came and went. The host welcomes all these people and inadvertently expects more to come. He is their attentive host, and they are his important guests.
Me? I’m not as organized as an inn. I do not keep tabs of people in my life, and I certainly do not unconditionally welcome them with whatever hospitality I may possess.
No. People walking through my life are certainly not guests. Strangers. Visitors. Trespassers.
Imagine the fallen bark of a tree, lying in a sheltered, dry area of some secluded beach. As easily the wind blows bits of sand onto the piece of lumber, they fall off just as easily due to the lack of attachment.
As time goes by, the piece of wood is discovered by some birds as a suitable place to nest, and nest they do, periodically visiting during the nesting seasons. The first of friends to the wood due to their frequent visits. ^^
Then one day, development attacks the area, as how it has destroyed many others, and this block of wood, regarded as useless garbage in the face high-end construction materials such as metal and concrete, is cast into the sea.
This piece of driftwood is then at lost, thrown in a totally new environment against its will. Detesting the alien feel of the seawater lapping around it, it sinks and buries itself deep in the benthos, hoping that sand at the bottom of the sea will provide some relative familiarity if its old environment.
There were many gastropods there to meet as well, considering that benthos do not normally migrate very far. Perhaps the most notable is the hermit crab, who broadcasts his shift to a larger home every time his ego grows larger than his head.
It takes some time but finally the driftwood, used to the dampness of the ocean, resurfaces into the sun again. What it doesn’t realize that life in the pelagic zone is MUCH different than the benthic. For one, the community is more diverse. Each and every day the driftwood meets new plankton.
Sometimes they drift past, sometimes they attach themselves. These are known as barnacles. As more barnacles attract more of the same kind toward the driftwood, suddenly it realized that everything it does has an impact on the world around it. Yeah, so the impact may be small but subtly it affects everything around it, and also, itself.
The wood just drifts along as the waves usher it along and finally it was deposited in another beach during the tidal change. The migratory nesting birds from its first community finally find their long lost friend, and the driftwood discovers many other benthos similar to the ones it encountered while laying low in the benthic community.
Occasionally, it meets some of the fleeting plankton of its early driftwood days via ballast water discharge, but encounters of this kind are few, if any.
Now this piece of driftwood lies on the beach, covered in barnacles that couldn’t be removed even if it wanted to, but every now and then the rotting layers of wood gets chipped off, and with it, a barnacle. But it’s okay, because, every once in a blue moon, the high tide splashes onto it a compatible nekton larva, and it settles despite everything and grows into yet another barnacle.
Yeah. Life is good. ^^