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Reminders from the street

Daily reminders on the streets of Wellington, New Zealand

We are surrounded by messages on a daily basis, only we need to be open to receiving them. When we actually see them they make us stop and reflect. They make a difference to us at that moment in time, and perhaps forever.

In my new job I spend a lot of time out and about in this wonderful city I am privileged to call home. As I walk the Wellington streets I notice things that make me smile. They connect me to a thought, a feeling, a person, or a memory. They may make me think of new things, new ways of looking, and new ways of experiencing the world. Sometimes my senses become flooded and my mind becomes hyperactive as a result.

I am always different because I saw what I saw.

I love that I am able to be aware enough to allow these things into my life instead of letting them pass me by.

As I was walking along Mansfield Street in Newtown today I saw this message written on the outside of what appeared to be a neglected building:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I wondered whether the 2nd hand shop sign indicated the kind of shop it had been in a former life.

I could imagine it as a corner dairy serving the local community. I could see kids coming in and out of the open door; a mother with a pram; a bike leaning against the side of the building while its owner goes inside to buy something. I could hear chatter and laughter. I could see smiling faces. I could also see the Tip Top Ice Cream sign on the side of the building. The corner was buzzing with all the people coming and going.

Yet today there was nothing happening.

As I looked up the curtains in the windows signalled to me life was happening within; someone appeared to be living in the building.

I had so many questions. Who wrote the Serenity Prayer on the boarded up window? Was this person struggling with an alcohol addiction since this version of the prayer is the same one used by Alcoholics Anonymous and other addiction programmes? What were the motivations of the person who wrote this message? Was it to help themselves or to remind others?

I came away wanting to know more. Alas this won’t happen so all I have is my imagination.

As I wrestle with learning a new job, and all the insecurities that surround this process, this message is a timely reminder to me to believe in the decisions I make and to be grateful that I am able to make them.

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