Carol A. Hand
Some mornings, obligations pile up so the question of how to focus my day is not even an option to consider. Today, I am revisited by a sense of obligation to explain the reasons for writing “Well Met.” Before heading off to sleep in the wee hours of the morning on the day I wrote the post, I tried to catch up on reading many of the blogs I follow. I know I am weeks behind. I fell asleep afterwards floating in gratitude for the gift of being able to glimpse the depth of scholarship, beauty, wisdom, and commitment to a kinder world that is shared by so many people around the globe. When I awoke, I wanted to share my gratitude and reflect back the beauty I see in all of those who follow and visit Voices from the Margins.
In the blogs I read, people may write about their fears and struggles or the disturbing the state of the world today, but what I see beneath the surface is beauty – people who care deeply about oppression, inequality, and suffering. But I’m not sure if you all see how special and beautiful you really are. You’re a beacon of hope and inspiration in a world that so needs your wisdom and light. As Robbie at eloquently wrote in a comment on Well Met,
“I am realizing lately that it is not so much “about” what our blog identity “is”…it is about our spirits :-) it is ” what” we are saying…we have a common core that is sometimes not visible to the human eye…our words + photos capture something that we all feel.. it connects us all..+ that is what I enjoy about blogging over the cyber fence…we live all over the world but somehow we have a spirit that connects us + when we find each other… we are loyal + truthful which is hard to find today :-)”
Photo Credit: Lake Superior Silhouettes – Photographer Jnana Hand
There was a second realization about the beauty and suffering of “ordinary” people that had been on my mind. Amid the never-ending messages of fear and hatred from news media or political emails, there is much that touches my heart with hope. Gardening has provided a rare opportunity for me to connect with some of my neighbors. Three women in particular have spent time sitting in my yard while I puttered – planting, weeding, clearing brush – to share stories about their lives and hopes for the future as they kept me company as I worked. What touched me most deeply was that all three balanced financial, family, and health challenges, yet all represented incredible beauty – gentleness, generosity of spirit, and a commitment to do what they could to make the world a kinder place. Their simple kindness is inspiring. They give to others who are less fortunate even though they have little themselves in the way of material extras. Stories about ordinary people who are loving and kind don’t make the news, but they are the bedrock of what makes life meaningful and bearable. I wanted to say thank you. I am honored to be in the presence of people who, despite society’s disregard, are really quite extraordinary.
As I listen to the stories of hard times my neighbors have lived through and still face, what I see are women who have become kinder and more generous rather than angry and bitter. I doubt that they see their own beauty and how precious their gifts are – how deeply they touch others. I wonder how many in the blogging community see the beauty of spirit that shines through their work. I just wish to say chi miigwetch (Ojibwe thank you) to the bloggers and neighbors who share faith in a better world and who simply do what can be done in different ways to leave a more hopeful legacy for future generations. You are so beautiful …
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