One of my longest-lasting legacies can be found in a hole in the ground behind my childhood home. Actually, it is the hole. About 3 feet wide and 4 feet long, it cuts barely a couple of feet deep. Nearly 30 years ago, my little brother and I shoveled that squat crater out of the gravelly ground. There it remains.
We spent hours and then days toiling at that hole. We didn't have to. It was not part of any project or chore. Sometimes we were digging for dinosaur bones. Sometimes we were digging battle trenches. Sometimes we were mining for gold.
Often, we just dug for the hell of it, reveling in our new ability to reshape the earth to our own designs. We passed the summer scraping and scratching away a few inches at a time. Grit clung under our nails and dust caked to our clothes. On hot days, we would drag a hose over and fill the hole with water and sink toys in the muddy pool.
My children have recently discovered the joy of digging. They keep saying they plan to find a subway running under our house. Or maybe they'll dig all the way to China.
They can't wait to visit Grandma and Papa's house to take over work on the old hole — make it a multigenerational effort. When the time comes, they will dig down after their own designs. They will get tired and filthy. But hopefully, they will also learn that with a little hard work and dedication they can leave their mark on the world.