In a conversation with a long time friend this week, the word steward came up as she was describing an aspect of her life. Since that conversation, I have been reflecting upon this word and it’s meaning.
I’m sure you can think of many places or conversations where this word or one of its forms has been used. I recall saying more than a few years ago that I regarded myself a steward of the souls who chose me to be their mom. They are not mine; I do not own or have power over them. I DO love them and support the men they are now, when or if I am called upon. Otherwise, we enjoy each other’s company, and of course the hugs…always the hugs.
As I reflected on the word steward, I sought the definition and here is what I found:
“A person employed to look after the passengers on a ship, aircraft, or train.” *
My interest in etymology caused me to seek some brief information on its origin. Here is what I found:
“Old English stiward, stigweard “house guardian, housekeeper,” from stig “hall, pen for cattle, part of a house”. Used after the Conquest as the equivalent of Old French seneschal (q.v.). Meaning “overseer of workmen” is attested from c. 1300. The sense of “officer on a ship in charge of provisions and meals” is first recorded mid-15c.; extended to trains 1906.” **
As I have watched the commitment of the Standing Rock Sioux over else many months, I felt so deeply connected to them and their mission and purpose. They see themselves as “stewards of the natural world.” What really hit home for me when I saw that was the question, “why aren’t we ALL stewards of the natural world?”
I then went to look at Lori Coleman’s pictures on her Flickr website to see all of the natural beauty that she captures in her pictures and picked out a few to include here so that we might all pause and reflect upon our role on this planet as stewards…of everything.
As stewards of everything, we make choices about how we honor (or not) the planet, other humans, other beings/energies (plants, animals) and even our bodies, minds and spirits. Even the work we are doing or the role we have chosen as parents has a connection to caring for, providing for or looking after.
From parenting, recycling, caring for companion animals (pets), and caring for the vessel that our souls occupy, we are stewards.
After all, we are on a journey here, yes?
We have bodies for this journey, yes?
If we are parents, we are guiding the young souls we call our children, yes?
We are stewards of life. ALL of us.
What will you choose, which may be different from what you have chosen in the past, that honors your purpose as a steward?
You are wise.
You know…even if you can’t “pull it out” right now. Need help? Go take a walk in the great outdoors. I’m sure spending time there will help bring to the surface what may be unknown to you in this moment. It works every time. (smile)
We are stewards. We own nothing.
* From oxforddictionaries.com, February 24, 2017.
** From Etymology Online Dictionary, etymonline.com, February 24, 2017.