Even if you don’t believe in the supernatural, the human sort of angel is pretty common.
Throughout my childhood and even now, my mum would spot angels everywhere, in many situations. Because of her, I’m getting pretty good at it too. I’m not talking about the flimsy, feathery kind. I’m talking about the rough man with a smoke in his mouth who moved traffic cones out of my way, the nurse with the prominent chin and a strange name whose calmness helped my nerves, the boatman with a thick Kerry accent who helped me onto a rib in the summer, and even today, the people who have sent messages of kindness about my mum on Facebook.
(I’ve written a book! Read it monthly, subscribe for £2.50)
I find it’s when I’m in my darkest place, at my lowest ebb, that angels appear. All of the situations I listed in the last paragraph were times like that. Sadly, there are times when it is impossible to recognise any good beside us, and any thoughts of angels fly away. But, sit tight and look sharp because they will come back. Sometimes, it’s only when we look at something retrospectively that we see a tiny flash of light.
Thinking about these dark covid times, can you see any angels? I can- the Tesco man who carries food to my front door every Thursday, the neighbours I see clapping in their porches, the postman, the bin men, the chatty person stopping at a safe distance to speak to me in the park and many, many more. There are angels (not all the time of course!) in my house- my children unexpectedly holding my hand, doing the jobs I struggle with and my husband, always picking up when I’ve reached my limit.
There is a snag about spotting angels though. Over time, the kindness you have experienced starts to work on you, and, without realising it, you become an angel too.