I'm not a great believer in the whole white light, fluffy-winged variety of angels who seem insubstantial at best. I do, however, believe firmly that human angels abound. They're all around us. And yes, there are angels with fur too.
I've lost count of the number of times I've said a heartfelt "You're an angel" to someone, usually to a friend. The 'everyday angels' have often gone unacknowledged, barring perhaps a quick "Thanks!" and a smile.
Take the bus conductor this morning, who pointed out a seat further back, out of sight. In a crowded, 3-deep, sardine-style packed bus at 6am, her smile and caring were refreshing.
I watched the big, bearded guy concentrating on his piece of paper on the equally crowded Metro, a small frown on his forehead. It lasted the length of the ride. What he was creating was complicated. When he finished her, he gently placed her on the window sill, then looked up to see me staring in wonder. It was an intricately-folded angel. He reached and gave it to me. I'd had this blog in mind for a while now, inspired by a site I found that thanked everyday angels (that was pre-format and I can't find the link now), so I decided to take her home and photograph her before passing her on.
I like the idea of keeping a journal, as the site I mentioned earlier suggested, concretely acknowledging those who touch our lives, however fleetingly. It's a bit like a gratitude journal. I suppose they can be combined. A gratitude journal allows us to express our thanks for life's gifts, however small... an angel journal allows us to mention those who pass those gifts on.
Looking at this angel, she is imperfect, but beautifully crafted. She is fragile, but amazingly strong (still in shape after a few days in my book bag and it gets rough in there!). In that, she reminds me of the amazing people in my life.