Sometimes I'm struck suddenly with the realization that I am not in this alone. That there is something going before and coming behind. Call it God, Providence, the Angels, the interconnectedness of human spirit, or just luck, I experience it frequently in my life.
We mamas know a lot about this. We're always picking up (scrubbing up, sweeping up) after our children and planning for their immediate futures. We make way for them when we plan and cook their meals, make or purchase clothes for the next season of their lives, encourage their education, and generally keep a safe and fertile space for them.
It can be so overwhelming and all consuming that it's easy to forget what they're doing inside of that space. Growing, dreaming, doing the hard work of becoming. It is so challenging being a child. Do you remember?
What is even easier to forget is that out there, earth's angels and heaven's angels are making way for us, and cleaning up what we leave behind. In our culture we think we're being so strong and independent when we do things all on our own. There is no such way to be or do, though we all sometimes delude ourselves into thinking there aren't others out there making way for us. It simply doesn't exist. Even a person all alone in the wilderness relies on the plants and the animals around her.
Try to notice today. Maybe someone will make way for you in their lane on the freeway, or give you their cart at the grocery store. Maybe someone at work will remind you of an important meeting you nearly forgot about, or maybe someone will make space for you around their table.
For all of the people you notice making space for you, or sharing their kindness with you, there are dozens more out of sight that we will never recognize.
No matter where or when we are living, there are always those going before and those coming behind.
Send out a little thanks for all of the people who are sharing their kindness with you, and who are making way before and behind you, even if you don't think there are any out there.
Spend your day in gratitude, be willing to acknowledge even the smallest act of kindness, and you'll see them begin to multiply in your every days.
It's a beautiful thing.
Anna Turner is the woman behind Little Hearth. She's an ordained interfaith minister, a writer, a believer in purposeful living and healing, a perpetual student, and a full time feminist mother.