Reflections on a Freezing Evening: Scenes, Stories from the Homeless Shelter at Xmas
(Every photo of the homeless taken below was done so with permission of the individuals.) The wind is howling tonight and will bring 12 deg. temp. I think about the homeless – the ones I meet and talk to at Christmas when I deliver packages to them as the Christmas Fairy, waving my singing wand over their heads and tell them to make a wish. They have faces and stories that enter my heart.
My intention is to connect, to let them know I see them and care.
This inclimate weather has no mercy. I pray all the homeless find/hear about the emergency shelters open when normally there aren’t any on certain nights.
Flashes of eyes and depth of conversation sweep over me as I reflect. When they let me into their world, I am honored to be trusted.
At Christmas one man sharing with me about his inhumane childhood suddenly stopped talking and told me to look at his friend who just placed his sleeping bag on the floor. X, the man I was speaking with, started beaming. He said Y, his friend he pointed out, was a really great guy. At another shelter they found out a homeless individual stole a backpack with all of the belongings of a blind homeless man who could not protect himself. Y felt really angry someone would do that, went and found the thief, let him know in a strong fisted way to stay the ________ away from the blind man, and proudly, happily, returned the backpack to the blind man who was beside himself with gratitude. The story let me see how much caring there is in their ‘community’ where morality exists in ways that seem like a different language to many citizens with homes. Different realities, different dynamics….all humans with stories. The gracious attitudes and ways that I was greeted leave an indellible mark upon my being. I am so fortunate to be accepted. My heart swells in this light. That just HAS to be great for Aging in an Awesome way!
I sure hope they are all safe tonight and will be alright to find safe haven in the coming flooding that is predicted in the next few days. I deeply thank all of you who donated to the Xmas Fairy Homeless Project this year. It did a lot of good!
As published at Ashland Daily Tidings