Everyday Inspiration, Living the Lessons

In Gratitude for the Empty Cart

Last evening I was leaving the office. Going down into the parking lot. Got off the elevator and stepped out to find an empty cart. A cart like a still life painting standing there on its own waiting for its story to be told. Its form to be illustrated. All sorts of emotions passed through me as I looked at that empty cart. The very cart I had seen full, just a few hours earlier, with the possessions, memories, collections of a woman who had been made redundant after having worked for 18 years at the same job. Remembering seeing the woman going back and forth packing up what was her life for 18 years. A life that was no longer hers and my heart broke.
I looked at that empty cart – a symbolic reminder of the fact that we come into this world with nothing and we leave the world the same way, with nothing.  No matter how much we accumulate. No matter how much time we have. We all begin and end the same way. Forcing me to question why we spend so much of our lives accumulating so much stuff only for it to be left behind when we go. When we move to the next dimension. When this life of accumulation means nothing.
I stood and thought about all the things the woman had been taking away from the life that was no longer hers and wondered what it felt like to be closing the door on 18 years of life and walking into the unknown. Looking at the empty cart and thinking about how her whole life has and will change. Wondering if she is fearful. Knowing she has to be fearful. Change always causes fear particularly when it comes when we are least expecting it to come.
Thinking of how that empty cart was the depiction of something that needed to be filled and would be filled once again with someone else’s treasures. Someone else’s new beginning in the same way it had been filled with the woman’s ending.  Like the revolving door. Endings and beginnings. Beginnings and Endings.
I inhaled and exhaled then finally found the will to walk away from the empty cart. Knowing I can’t change what has happened. That I have no control over anyone’s life. Knowing there is a period of grieving we all experience with change. Remembering there is a cycle to everything and that as long as we are present moment living, we will have the power and will to ride the cycles.
Thinking that empty cart was left there for a reason for me. To remind me that not so long ago I was in the same position as the woman. Reminding me that life can change in an instant but as long as I have faith, love, compassion, my own dreams and accept change as an opening for me to explore more about who I am and who I am not then I will be okay. As will she if she takes her time to understand why she is in the position she finds herself.
In gratitude to taking pause to understand the symbolic nature of that empty cart for me. For reminding me life is a revolving door. The empty cart will once again be filled in more ways than that woman thought possible.  I know because the same happened to me and will happen again in the future because life is a cycle of changes.
***About Catherine Duffy – A woman in search of truth. A wife trying to love unconditionally. A mother trying to raise good citizens. A writer bursting through. Enjoying life’s journey.  Catherine can be found @duffy_catherine and on her blog from Bermuda · http://bermudacat.blogspot.com.

1 thought on “In Gratitude for the Empty Cart

  1. This article spoke to all my known emotions. Never thought about what it must feel like to wrap up eighteen years of life or more and start again. That is the epitome of change. Don’t know how I would react. I would struggle. That’s for sure. I will spend many hours thinking about the lady with that grocery cart. Love this essay.

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