The gift of being seen, the gift of showing up

Following up on my post earlier this week, I wanted to resurface Brenda Bakker’s beautiful takeover for the Wellness Almanac from 2018. She offered to do an instagram takeover for us, wanting to use that opportunity to honour the beautiful carers who were supporting her life, and her babies, at Ullus daycare.

So, it’s not a new thing for her to use her camera as a tool to reflect people’s beauty, sacredness and contribution. It was just new for me to be on the hot side of that.

My family and I recently watched A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, about Mr Rogers (who I didn’t grow up watching.) In once scene, Mr Rogers invites the cynical journalist who is profiling him, (hoping to prove he’s a big fraud because how could anyone really be that genuinely kind?) to pause for a moment and think about some of the people who helped him get to where he is today. It’s a moment that feels a bit like saying grace… they’re in a diner, having breakfast, and everyone goes quiet, heads bowed. I know the feeling inside the body one gets, when you stop and drop into that kind of gratitude. It has a very specific texture that is hard to put words to. It helps re-orient you towards the love that has very specifically come towards you. (And shift away from the hard-done-by feeling I think most of us have when we reflect on our lives. It’s kinda easy to get stuck in that spiral of my mom didn’t listen and my dad left when i was a kid, and that teacher didn’t understand me, and that group of nasty friends turned suddenly, and I’ve really had to do this all on my own…. It can be easy to get stuck in our own pain, because it is a potent feeling that demands attention… and overlook the people who have put love and care into you. Often, they were strangers and you didn’t even know their names. Sometimes, your dependence on them is so obvious, like the people you’re handing your babies to, so you can go and try and make ends meet.)

Some people practice this kind of care and love, towards others, literally every day of their lives. They get up, shower, eat breakfast, and go do that. I am the recipient of so many acts of care, mostly unacknowledged, many of whom I don’t even know, because they’re directed towards my kid, in the life he’s out there living.

It’s good to pause and marinate in that a little.

We do not exist in isolation.

We inhabit ecologies of care.

It is good to bow the head, now and then, and give specific thanks for some of the beings in your ecosystem, upon whose lives you depend.

If you click on any of the photos below, they’ll take you deep into our Wellness Almanac instagram archive, to revisit that particular post.

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