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To all of the strangers OR I would rather call “Angels” who are watching over and helping my daughter in her current journey of sobriety. She has now been sober for 2 mos on Jan 14 ! Amen!!
Oh, definitely Grace! It is all those things going on in the background which it is easy to become blind to. All of those things which are just “on” and taken for granted. This torrent of Grace that flows around me is something I am truly thankful for. Those things I might think I am masterful, in reality are only as a result of that openness to that river of Grace flowing around me. Perhaps this little poem sheds further light – Weaves of Grace:
As a Weaver strives to put
one thread upon another
Every thread as crucial
as the other, for bare threads
to evolve into graceful fabric.
So is life my Beloved
Every thread as crucial
as the one before and after.
Weave you should the threads
of life of complex texture and hue
into a fabric of beauty and grace
fit for the boundless Being – Divine
Fabric not just a device to
cover the body of parts private.
Fabric that shall allow you to
touch the organic beauty of
Creation and become a passage
to privacy to cohabit the
Inner Divine. Threads of
love, threads of prudence, threads of
play and threads of work
Threads of closeness and distance
Threads soaked in sanity of
Sense and insanity of Bliss
Threads of such varied texture
and hue, to weave it all into
One graceful Garment.
Devotion my Beloved the
only way. Ungraced
by Devotion it can all
turn into messy knots.
Make life a weave of Grace
As is often the case, I am writing this while riding on the bus. That means that my bus driver is providing a service for me. I have, in the past, gotten to know my bus drivers, depending on the route. At the moment, however, the schedules are not that consistent.
In addition to my bus driver, I have a running bus with wireless internet, all of which were provided by strangers. Getting my little one to school today required driving and–therefore–the service provided by the road, traffic lights, and all the other infrastructure involved. I also find her school to be very supportive and provide some great services. Though I know many of the people working there, they were strangers at one time and have since come to be really vital parts of our lives.
Before that, I had some time at home with my daughter. Even then, though, I used electricity and internet services, all provided by strangers. When my daughter chose to put on a denim jacket (maybe other parents will know the struggle of convincing a preschooler to wear any jacket even when it’s 39° out), I played the song “Denim Jacket” by Sammy Rae & the Friends, a band who are technically strangers to me, though I play their music a lot to perk up my mood.
As I read this question I was sipping my hot tea, munching on my mango and yogurt. All of which strangers and Mother Earth have made possible. I share an entry from my 2014 journal that came to mind when I read today’s question.
March 2 2014 Carrot Wisdom
I was up very early one morning this week. I was still tired but since I couldn’t sleep, I brewed some hot tea and began chopping veggies for the salad I would eat later in the day. All the while my mind was racing; my inner-world pacing from the past to the future. Then, something in me cried, “Halt,” and the carrot in my hand seemed to speak, “If you’re going to peel and shred me into little pieces, the least you can be is present. Soon I’ll grace your salad bowl and provide you with nourishment. Could we just have a moment of at-one-ment?” My mind snapped to attention. I was totally present to that carrot, aware of its gift to me. I felt my weary body relax. I said, “Thank you, Mr. Carrot.”
Another memory has also presented itself. I was at a retreat. The presenter was my dear friend Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr. She was just winding up her afternoon presentation for that day when the dinner bell rang. She said, “Before you take the first bite of supper from your plate, look at the food and remember that everything on your plate died that you might live.
Gratefulness, such a key, to a life well lived. Thanks for the reminder this question brings.
Lots of coffee drinkers here! I lift my cup in your direction, and to the tea drinkers as well. Truly everything in our complex webs of interactions relies on the services of strangers.
I appreciate Carol’s point about whether they are all fully appreciated and compensated for their labors and I know the answer is no. In that spirit I offer a poem by César Chávez, a prayer in the farmworkers’ struggle for justice: https://usfblogs.usfca.edu/fierce-urgency/2021/03/31/a-prayer-by-cesar-chavez-in-spanish-and-english/
Barb C Love the poem…appreciate your sharing it.
I have been up for a very short time. So I thought of all the folks that were behind me …. those who made it possible for me to sit is a comfortable chair, having a warm throw, drinking coffee from another country, in a heated house, with activities ahead of me.
My thoughts go to — was the person(s) who did the work of making it possible for me to experience the physical things I’m grateful to be experiencing in this moment, being paid well enough to support their well being?
Who was part of the supply chain in my enjoying this cup of coffee, the coffee maker, this computer, this chair… ?
Are there needs and wants being met?
Gratitude leads to compassion; the desire to alleviate the suffering needs action. Where is my agency?
Carol, Beautifully said…
My day has only really been going for about 3 hours now, but it’s funny to think how much has already been done for me. My fiance laid out my breakfast for me (protein bar and 2 nectarines) and gave me a warm morning greeting which got my day off on the right foot. Then, when I arrived at work, I had received an email from my director providing me with some interesting insight and advice toward my career. I am currently uncertain in what direction I want to take my career (pursue a Ph. D, continue on my current path, etc.) so I am grateful for the advice and information he provided, and additionally I am grateful to work somewhere where I am so well supported and where my concerns are also the concerns of others who wish to help me and guide me toward the right path. And if you consider all the cars I passed on my morning commute, they were kind enough not to hit my car too, so that’s lots of people helping me today! Lol. All in all, despite my day only having just begun, I’ve already been shown kindness by many.
Since I’m still lying in bed, I thought
this was a funny question.
But when you think about it for a
Minute, there are so many things that
have been done for me all already.
From the people that made this incredibly comfortable bed to the people that made
this phone and of course the people
who have kept the power on and the water running and the people who are already
up and picking, processing, shipping the
food I will eat today.
I am truly grateful for all of them.
Happy National Charlie Day! 🙂
Everything I have touched or seen this morning, from waking up in a warm home, to a shoveled walk when I leave for appointments today to when I make dinner tonight and watch television tonight to the inner workings of this computer I am on now, which is probably people in another country, to when I put my head down to sleep tonight. It is all, every bit of it, due to a stranger somewhere in the world providing me with what I need today. And I am grateful and will add them to my meditation right now.
Everyone here has already added so much!! I drink tea in the morning…so I am thankful especially to those who picked the tea leaves…and then to the companies that processed the leaves. I am thankful for the Amish people who built the motorhome that I am now in for a few months…thankful that it is warm and safe. I also am grateful for all who planted, took care of and harvested all that I will eat today. So many strangers behind all that we do every day…the makers of our shoes, and clothes, eye glasses, and on and on. So much to think about and so much to be thankful for. Very grateful for all who make this site work…and all who contribute every day…although we have never met…I would not call you strangers.
Adding to what everyone has already said:
the bus drivers who bring me to work as right this minute, and then home again .
The cheerful baristas in the coffee shop who bring me my hot cup of coffee.
The trash and recycling workers who faithfully make the rounds on my street every week.
The creators of the meditation app I use and all of the people who have content there. The creators of this website. Those responsible for the coffee I’m drinking, from the farmers to the processors to the grocery clerks who put it on the shelf….and everything else I will eat or use today!
Reading this litany of daily blessings I often take for granted reminds me of the gift it is to be part of a daily meditating community. Though “strangers” in one way because we have never met, I consider each of you a “soul friend” in whom I am truly blessed. Namaste!
The peolple who work in the electricity generating plants and the gas supplier so that I can stay warm and have hot food and lighting. The ones who make sure the water is safe to drink and the sewage is all dealt with. All those who have grown, cut, packed, shipped and delivered the food I have to eat. We are all a wonderful web of interdependant beings 😊
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