The Goddesses of Small Things

Everyone who prays to goddesses prays to the big goddesses.  Shakti, Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi.  The essence of feminine energy, the rider of tigers, the slayer of demons, the mother of the Vedas, the fountain of wealth and prosperity.  It makes sense, really.  If you're looking for divine intervention you go to the big women.  You'd better believe when they walk the earth trembles and mere humans take notice.  When you're in a tight spot, these are the ladies you want to have your back.  If they're arrayed beside you as you face down your demons, ride your untamable tigers, and tackle the poverty-stricken areas of your life, you've got a pretty good shot at victory.

But we women don't ride into battle every day, and it's not even every year we ride tigers in epic style.  There are times of high crisis and intense energy, but what about the mundane concerns of the day-in, day-out repetitive nature of life?  The smaller challenges of work, love, family, and life?  The smaller dramas of:  Who am I?  What am I doing?  Who am I with?  Why?  The times when there's not an immediate threat, an identifiable enemy, or even obvious obstacles.   The unnameable, continuous moments that create the substance of most of our lives.

Into these ordinary spaces step the goddesses of small things.  Most don't have names and practically none of them are recognized by the regular prayers to goddesses.  Are they movers of mountains and re-arrangers of human destiny?  No.  They govern the bills paid at the end of the month, the car not breaking down, the boss treating you fairly, the lover giving you attention in the right ways, the chance to dance your troubles away, and the friends who can't fix what's wrong but are always willing to share lunch and a smile.   These goddesses are the finders of stray socks and souls that have wandered from what nourishes them, the balancers of complicated days and sleepless nights.  

These goddesses won't transform you, but they can change your hair color and re-envision your closet.  No, they can't reverse the illness of loved ones or the difficult twists of fate, but they can offer love and understanding.  They are the lucky break, the calm before the storm, and the little bit of good karma coming due exactly when you need it.  They are the tailors of the fabric of our lives, the ones who mend the mistakes and rebind the ravelled edges.  They're omnipresent and numberless... hence their anonymity.  Just because you don't know their names and haven't seen their images gracing temple walls doesn't mean they're not important.  It's a shame, really, because these are the goddesses we should be praying to every day.  But perhaps we already do.  Every time we see a small kindness, acknowledge a bit of help, or smile at the small thing going right this day, we are offering our thanks to the goddesses of small things.