As I approached the shuttle to Grand Central, all I saw before me was a sea of bodies. It was packed. I mentally started to formulate my maneuvers; scanning the throng for the best path to get me to the train car I needed. As I narrowed my scope to my immediate walk, I soon realized I had sub-consciously matched my stride to the young lady’s in front of me. I realized she was doing all my work; so if I just followed in her footsteps, maintain the path she was carving out, I would get to my destination… without breaking a sweat.
As I settled onto the train, another realization hit… this is what my ancestors had done. What our ancestors had done. Carved a path. Blazed a trail. Done the work. So if we stepped in their footsteps, we can either follow their exact route, or use their indentations to guide us onto our own. They did the work.
Heels and all I step in the puddles of their sweat, their tears, their joys and their sorrows. I wade in the pools of their blood… oftentimes ignorant of their sacrifices. Negating their efforts. This morning, the unbeknownst purposeful stride of a young woman literally brought me back to my roots. Opened my eyes to all that I take for granted on a daily basis. Brought front and center the attitude of gratitude I must implement for those who have gone before, stepped in the shit and cleared the path for me to exist. To stride. To strive.
So, now what?
“I am not myself. I am the result of all my ancestors…”