Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Obscured Dignity

The air was crisp as sleep melted away.  Within the cathedral ceiling of that momentary bedroom, leaves of towering sycamores began to yellow.  Sunlight sprinkled warmth on her face as a sapphire sky peeped through.  The grass was not too wet.  That was nice.  Sleeping was mostly comfortable and warm in the makeshift bed.  She was grateful for the blankets.

Standing, sleep stretched from muscles as the smells of fall air filled her lungs. She savored the warm morning.  Winter brushed the air with crispness. She bent down to carefully fold her bedding and place it into the shopping cart. The park was quiet.  Savoring the solitude and beauty, thankful no one was around to disturb her. 

She tightened the sage bathrobe around her frame. It hung off her like a child playing dress up. Strolling around the shopping cart overflowing with earthly possessions, she assessed its arrangement. As she placed the bundle of blankets in, she lifted out a carry-on rolling suitcase.  Grabbing the shopping cart with her left hand, she dragged the bag in her right towards a building central to the park.  A musical cacophony of bird song accompanied her saunter into the public bathroom.

She paused at the door, with a determined push, the basket leapt into the lavatory. A dull clang traveled across the park as the basket met with a metal trash can inside.  Head held high, she strolled into the bathroom with the bag trailing behind her.

About 15 minutes later she emerged. Her outfit for the day was comfortable denim shorts, an aqua blue T-shirt and a denim vest- which looked like it had been a jacket in a previous life.  She placed the carry-on bag in the front of the basket.  Walking around the portable home, tender arrangements to her belongings were the final preparation for the day’s travels.

Standing for a moment smoothing her bangs and hair, she sighed.  With a look around she evaluated the temperature.  The air brushed her skin with its chill.  The olive green robe was draped over the top of the basket.  Picking it up and jauntily wrapping it around her shoulders, she slid her arms in, grabbed the lapels of her dapper garment and straightened it.

Fluffing her bangs while she walked around the basket; inspecting it for the last time. Satisfied she stood at its helm and gave it a shove.  It rolled as she sashayed to the side of it. Resting a hand on the old friend's side, they began the day’s journey. They disappeared from the park, the robe’s sash gliding behind her like a royal train.  A private moment of dignity in the simplest form had been hers. 

Homelessness is often something we look away from. We, the Fortunate Housed often judge harshly the poor and Unhoused. We talk about the Blight, the Problem, the Inconvenience, the...etc. 
Jesus said to remember the Poor.

But for the Grace of God, would be I.

One week in 2010. a homeschool week filled with shuttling kids to homeschooling activities. Girly and I sat at in park while the boys attended classes. While she worked on her school I observed a fellow human sister beginning her day.


  1. Hi! I noticed you favorited my tweet to Ann Wertz Garvin which allowed me to stumble upon your blog! I love the idea and the layout! I am looking forward to more posts!

    Katelynn Clark


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