"Women work a great many miracles".
Louisa May Alcott
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby, some have entertained angels unawares".
I love these two quotes.
How many miracles do we all work in a day? How many angels do we entertain unawares?
From balancing a tiny budget, and sometimes feeding our families on a wing and a prayer, to nursing those we love when ill, to passing on skills to our children to sustain them in adult life, to counselling those around us when things go wrong, to being the hub of the family wheel for information and support.
Then of course there's the lesser 'miracles' of meeting a million little deadlines from getting children to school on time with homework, hats and lunchboxes intact, to meeting with bank managers, maintaining our careers, driving children to appointments and lessons of all kinds, to improving our minds, and keeping our hearts and hands busy and happy.
We grow food, even if like me, it's really only herbs. And in saying 'only herbs' I immediately chastise myself, for herbs add so much to our mealtimes. The going out to the garden to clip them and inhaling their freshness as they're cut. The chopping or tearing into smaller pieces to add to a home cooked meal. The aroma as they mingle with the hot steaming food, and the incomparable flavour when the food is transferred blissfully from plate to tongue. That surely is too, a miracle. How can a tiny insignificant plant, add so much to our human enjoyment of a simple meal?
And of course, what is it about women, that even when we are ill ourselves, we still put our loved ones first. How many times do we rise from our own sick beds, to tend to the needs of those we love. be they children, beloved pets, husbands, siblings or ailing parents? I know I've done it more times than I can imagine.
And then of course, there are those who do not have the gentle and loving hand of a Mother or even a female mentor in their lives. Some never have. Can you imagine that? Who guides these young people...yes young men too. Who is the soft and kind influence in their lives? What opportunities to we have to 'entertain angels unawares'?
I went searching for an opportunity to mentor a young person who may not have the gentle presence of a mother figure in their lives.
Volunteering Queensland was the first place I looked.
Well, I was astounded. There are literally thousands of volunteer roles on their website and many of them noted 'urgent'. There are Breakfast Clubs where you are involved in cooking and serving food to students in schools who may not otherwise eat breakfast for a variety of reasons. There are calls for editors of special interest magazines for the disabled, bus drivers, companions, conservation team members, baristas, receptionist for a Christian radio station, gardeners, cooks, even co-ordinators and cooks to help with classes for Jamies Ministry of Food (yes, of Jamie Oliver fame).
There were also many calls for Palliative Care support which is particularly poignant for us at this time as we sit bedside with a much loved terminally ill Uncle. There are two men in his ward who have no-one to visit them. No-one to hold their hand and tell them they've lived their life well. It's heartbreaking.
Look here at Volunteering Queensland.
What miracles could the women who live in my area work, by giving just a few hours a month to one of the many organisations seeking support? What miracles could you work by seeking an opportunity to volunteer in your town?
Today, I'm writing three letters to three women I know, who go largely unacknowledged for their kindnesses to others. I want them to know that they are miracle workers in their own small way.
I've also chosen my volunteering role, and I'll be putting that in place for when we return from our trip next month. That will be something to look forward to.
What will your miracle be today?