I dreamed I was walking along the beach, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed various footprints in the sand. Some were individual, presumably my own. In other scenes I would be joined by one or more.
Some paralleled mine closely, others from a distance. There were perpendicular ones too. Some were straight and narrow, others showed an unsteady gait.
As I rose higher into the sky from these visions and began mentally piecing the scenes together, linking my path of footprints chronologically into an Earth-sized collage, patterns began to form.
My own trail of footprints was never broken, nor were those of the many I have interacted with over the course of my life.
Sometimes those I met would walk with me, or I with them, when our paths brought us together for a duration. Invariably, we would part ways as would be appropriate for a lifetime-length cosmic journey.
Some were parallel longer than others, some were just a chance meeting, no more than a skip; anonymous lovers for but a moment.
The patterns revealed that we were all interwoven with one another when viewed from a distance greater than eye-level, and some sets of footprints never really departed, rather skirted back around from time to time in a lazy circle.
Even from this altitude I could make out the scenes from my life and was astonished to discover how I remember feeling at any given time didn't seem to match what was actually transpiring - my judgment had been understandably myopic.
I descended back down and stepped at the head of my footprints in the untouched sand, creating a new pair. Looking around me, everything I saw was once again limited to my own perspective.
But I now understood it now to be only a partial truth. I would run this time, not walk - and would embrace everyone I came in contact with, no matter how briefly - for it mattered not who they were or what role they played, they would forever be a part of my fabric, and I, theirs.