I found a little book in an antique shop last week called Flowers from Dickens. It is not in great condition, but the lithographs are beautiful, on heavy off-white paper and accompanied by quotes from Charles Dickens' many books. The book opened to this quotation:
"I believe there are quiet victories and struggles, great sacrifices of self, and noble acts of heroism...done every day in nooks and corners, and in little households, and in men's and women's hearts." How well said.
Quiet victories. Those words made me think back over my week and the quiet victories I'd seen.
An elderly man in white shirt and white bob overalls, making his slow way with a walker from his door to his garden.
The lonely great white egret that has been living in the small lake at the end of our road, suddenly joined by two others. (How did they know he was here? As far as I know, these birds are unusual for this area.)
Ben on his scooter. A new skill for a boy not usually willing to take risks.
My friend standing quietly erect to receive guests at the visitation for her son's funeral, a young man of 33.
Quiet victories, every one.
I wonder how many we pass in a day without seeing them? A child who can reach the sink for the first time, a mother watching her child leave for school, a man shaving with painful arthritic fingers...the list is endless, isn't it?
Quiet victories, quiet heroes.