|Original art by ElJorcha|
"He clutched at his coat pulling it a bit tighter around him as he worked in the warm air. While the ground was thawing and a warm breeze was starting to blow, the chill of the long winter was still in his bones. He whistled a little tune as he worked to straighten the tarp out on top of the shelter he had built from branches laying about. It was finally time to move his home back outdoors and into nature. Away from the hustle and bustle of a room filled with people just like him. Those who did not have the means of providing a proper roof over their heads and food to fill their bellies. He admired his handy work and was content with the location, right next to the fairly large river babbling by so he could fish when he wanted to. He was in the woods yet close enough to the main road so that the cars going by would sooth him to sleep at night. They helped to remind him that he wasn't completely alone in this world, though at times he felt that way. He couldn't wait for the days to get warmer when he could go for swims to help feel clean during the day rather then depending on the local shelter or the generosity that day of the local YMCA."
On my way home the other day from somewhere, I don't even remember where as that man had such an impact on me I saw him. The man I've described for you above. I only saw him for a second as I was waiting at that stoplight. Had I been driving I would have missed him completely. But I saw him, and I felt him. I was able to connect with him in that single moment. He was down an embankment next to the river. I could see him from the bridge I was on, but only if I were at the side I was on.
I looked at my children in the back seat and said a prayer thanking the divine and the universal energies that I was able to provide for my children the way I wanted to. Yes, we may not have everything and struggle at times, but we are sitting incredibly well off compared to how this man is. I see people everywhere complaining about how hard life is, how many obstacles, how tight money is. I'm no different. I try to keep it at a minimum and instead concentrate on all the positives in my life.
What an inspiration this man was. As an empath, I can connect intuitively and I can feel people's emotions. I didn't feel bitterness, anger, depression. I felt a man proud of his new shelter that he was building, a man breathing in the fresh air around him and marveling at how the sun sparkled across the water in front of him. A man who even though luck may not be on his side, he was determined to live life and be happy. A very simplistic happiness. Someone who is capable of living outside and enjoying all that mother nature has given him. I would be hesitant to call him homeless, while he may not have a house with four walls, he has made his home with Mother Nature.
While a first instinct would be to feel incredibly sad for someone in this situation this man did indeed give me a new perspective. Truly a gifted soul to have love in his heart and faith that things will get better. So I ask you tonight, as a community, when you sit down for your dinner, when you pull those covers up over you in your comfy beds, as you greet each day, remember to be thankful for all that you have been blessed with... and send a bit of love and energy to the man by the river, as well as anyone else who may need it.
Love and Blessings,
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
- Irish Blessing