I don’t know for certain, but I suspect it is the Ohio weather and lack of sunshine that have me struggling to find inspiration lately. But I did have an odd realization earlier this week.
I was in a pensive mood Tuesday morning. We had just a bit more than a dusting of snow on the ground. It was early in the morning. I was wrapped up in all of my cold-weather gear and walking the dog … again. As I walked the slightly snowy sidewalks, I became aware of the footprints in the snow. Sometimes I was walking in fresh snow without footprints. Then, there would be sections with scattered prints, usually in a driveway around cars. Sometimes, I was walking the path after some earlier dog walker. I could see their boot prints along with their pup’s paw prints. I noticed the difference in shoe sizes and paw sizes. Some people, I noticed, must have walked to their car in heels. I don’t even do that in clear weather.
At some point toward the middle of my walk, I realized the one thing I never saw – my own footprints. I don’t know why I never realized that before, but, we don’t ever see our own footprints. It got me thinking, just as we never see our own footprints, we often do not see the results of the actions we take now on issues about which we care deeply (climate or otherwise.) But, at the same time, just as I looked at the variety of footprints already on the sidewalk, (human, canine, and other) there have been many before us doing the hard work of advocacy and action. And there will be others looking at our footprints as they make their journey.
I am grateful for those among you, who have trod the path before me. The work of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation is in the DNA of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and it has grown outward to all who have encountered you.
Speaking of footprints, maybe this week you could find your carbon footprint and research ways to reduce it as much as you can. There is a Carbon Footprint Calculator . I’ve found this resource for ways to reduce your footprint.
Find and reflect on the people who have gone before you. Or, maybe reflect on the footprints you have left for others to follow.
Mostly, I like to follow the advice I received years ago from one going before me. “Just keep walking forward!” And try not to forget that our Good God is right there too.