"A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives." Jackie Robinson

When neighbors nearest my family’s cabin in the woods recently moved it gave me pause. Although I can count the number of times I saw them in a year on both hands their move left me with an empty feeling and made me realize that our connection, although infrequent, was not insignificant. A good portion of the pleasure we’ve derived from our cabin over the years can be indirectly tied to the company of this lovely couple who provided warmth, support, and an oft-needed helping hand. We all know the important role that family and close friends play in our lives. But do we ever stop to think that perhaps in?significant others play a role just as important? These casual and sometimes fleeting acquaintances can touch and enrich our lives in powerful ways.

The role they play as in?significant others places them on the outer fringe of our lives as opposed to the inner circle that is inhabited by our family and close friends yet they are no less important. In?significant others are the supporting cast in the film of our life. People, for example, like my hairstylist who though I only visit quarterly is my sounding board for whatever problems are pressing at the moment and whose impartial advice I solicit – better and cheaper than a therapist. The retired man at my gym who always has a compliment despite the fact that I look like I just rolled out of bed (which I did.) The UPS deliveryman who carefully and considerately times the all too frequent shoe deliveries to my address when he knows my husband will not be around. My second-grade teacher, whose outwardly strict and austere manner belied her inner, well-hidden sweetness and dedication. I feigned stomachaches the entire year because she scared the heck out of me but she instilled in me a lifelong love for reading. The woman at the drive-in pharmacy with the dry sense of humor who hands me prescriptions with a laugh. The list goes on and on, too numerous to mention. In?significant others outnumber the significants yet we rarely give them a thought – that is until they’ve moved out of our lives.

No movement at all to report on the Hubert chase this month. I suppose I could call Hubert the ultimate in?significant other. He’s certainly been an omnipotent presence despite the fact I’ve never met him nor have a clue as to who he is (or even if he is a “he”.) His life may remain a mystery but he’s definitely brought a dash of panache to mine – which just serves to illustrate how a seemingly in?significant artist can have a very significant impact…

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