Time turns mountains into valleys and granite into sand. But time, alone, cannot perform such feats. The inexorable forces of nature relentlessly work those million-year miracles. When I look at the world around me and consider the changes that have taken place over thousands and thousands of millennia, the scope of the universe—billions of times larger than this tiny speck on which I live—takes my breath away. Humans lack the patience required to reach objectives that take more than a lifetime to accomplish. But not always.
Recently, I read about artisans in other cultures who teach their children their skills so their progeny can continue their work, which cannot be completed in the artisan’s lifetime. I wish I could recall exactly what and where I read about this multi-generational endeavor. Another example of endeavors that take lifetimes to reach their conclusions is construction of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Work continues to this day toward realization of Antoni Gaudi’s architectural vision. People who have the will and vision to initiate projects they know cannot be completed in their lifetime but begin them anyway take my breath away. I don’t think I know any such people, unless of course you consider parents.