tire tracks

The most exciting thing about SDAWP’s Photo Voices and our predetermined prompts has become the unexpected directions in which my thinking travels. This week we have been noticing patterns, and once again, I have found inspiration while walking at the beach with my husband.

The tires of a lifeguard truck that drove past us left behind the first interesting pattern I noticed. A short time later, a park ranger drove by, and I realized that his vehicle left very different tire tracks. Before long, I was taking note of the variety of patterns made by running shoes and flip-flops, bicycle tire treads, bare feet, dog paws and bird tracks—each leaving a unique stamp in the sand.

At low tide one evening, the smooth wet sand provided the perfect surface for finding the patterns left behind by all the visitors to the beach. I took at least fifty photos of imprints from a variety angles and with different lighting as the sun began to set.

It was also an evening for picking up a record amount of litter. I collected three bags full. Some of it obviously washed up on shore after spending time at sea, but most of the trash was left by beach-goers simply too lazy to drop it in the garbage can.

I began thinking about ecological footprints and the pattern of human behavior that has led to the environmental predicament we face. As I reflect on my own footprint, I consider the mark I want to make.

I have been doing my part to help clean the planet by joining the #litterati and documenting a small part of the trash I collect off the beach, but what metaphorical footprint will I leave behind as a teacher? How can I have a greater positive impact at my school? What unique stamp will I ultimately leave in the sand?


footprint a bird track

dog paws

footprint and worm track

my footprint

shoes and tires

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5 Responses to Footprints

  1. Karol Gans says:

    I love your last paragraph. Thinking of the demise of a lifetime. What stamp will we leave on the lives of our students? More important than a test score.

  2. Nicole Hutton says:

    Just a few more months ago I wrote on my bathroom mirror with lipstick; I have a footprint use it! Rather contradictory to the whole concept of leaving a late carbon footprint but like you I realize I am here with purpose so what kind of positive mark will I leave on the world?

  3. Thanks for sharing, Nicole. I can picture your message written in lipstick on the mirror. What a wonderful daily reminder about purpose!!! I miss seeing you. Let’s get together sometime soon.

  4. Carol Schrammel says:

    I enjoyed reading all of your posts, Janis. I love the photo collage of ‘tracks’ and how beautiful they are. Looking—really looking— at what’s around us takes time. I appreciate your sharing your words and your pictures!

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