Inner Peace: My legacy

One planet, one people, one family, by Sally McKirgan.
June 25, 2022

This grain of sand doesn’t want to tun into a rutabaga

By Asifa Kanji

Should I tell the world that I believe that dying a natural death is quite over-rated and I would sooner have control over when I die?

Should I tell the world that I skip the annual examinations, mammograms, colonoscopies, biopsies, and the like because I don’t want to know about what ails me until it’s too late?

Asifa Kanji

Should I tell the world that I have opted not to have treatment? If death with dignity is an option, that’s lovely. If not, I hope I have the wherewithal and courage to take my own life before I turn into a rutabaga.

Should I tell the world that at three score and ten, I am an average old lady who is contributing more to landfill and greenhouse gases than to anything useful? I would rather give my worldly wealth that would be used to stitch me together and keep me alive to the Nature Conservancy, the homeless, or to the young folks to give them a leg up in life. That would be my legacy.

Should I tell the world that as I dance in the presence of death, it makes me live and love with all my heart, soul and might? When I go, be it now or later, I’ll go without regret or fanfare because I am only a grain of sand.

A Grain of Sand

I am a grain of sand on a beach.

My friends are the ocean tides.

They stir me, cavort with me, and sweetly lap by my side.

Some shape me, others draw me out into the ocean deep,

Some swirl me and sweep me off my feet.

Others calm me, cool me and keep my temperament sweet.

Some raise me to soaring crests, others carry me abreast.

While ocean tides bring gifts of coral, seaweed and sea shells,

Crabs dig holes to burrow and make in me a place to dwell.

Children tease me into castles with buckets and spades.

Seagulls and sandpipers use me as their landing and takeoff pads.

I am but a grain of sand, sometimes lucky enough to be welcomed into an oyster shell,

Enabling it to make a pearl large enough to make you smile.

I am but grain of sand that sticks to your toes for a while.

It’s a sweet life being an anonymous grain of sand

For whom there is no epitaph,

No legacy,

Forgotten but yet ever present in stories that you tell.

Asifa Kanji is the author of “300 Cups of Tea: Riding the Peace Corps Rollercoaster,” about life on the edge of the Sahara Desert; “Pilgrims with Credit Cards,” about walking The Camino and several other books. She grew up in Tanzania, and has since called many countries home, from Eritrea to Norway. She currently lives in Medford, Oregon.

Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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