It’s unlikely they are Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, but she is my first thought as I pass the sign each day on my walk. It points and reads, “La Petite Maison” — the little house. Surrounded by trees on the gravel path, I am transported from the south of France to the northwest of Minnesota, crouched in the corner of our living room, reading “Little House in the Big Woods,” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I read all of her books. Each one a safe haven to dream. Moving me forward from place to place. Opening doors. Revealing the possibilities of words, of stories, of living. They were the cars of my underground railroad.
With each gift comes a responsibility. I, we, were given so much. So easily. And I don’t think it’s enough to just give thanks — thanks for the path. We need to keep digging. Keep paving. Putting up the signs, as small as they may be. Because someone will see them. Will feel them. These small acts of kindness. These words of hope. These gravel roads to possibility.
I continuously have a rock in my shoe. I think that’s the wink of the universe. A reminder of where I’ve been. A reminder to keep going. That my tiny life, as petite as it may be in this “Big Woods,” has to matter. Has to mean something. So I gather the words and the pebbles and make paths. Walking ahead. Walking behind. Walking beside. Always with you.