Friday, June 14, 2013


Perhaps it was because I was feeling tired.

Perhaps it was because I was feeling a bit defeated.

But perhaps I found it awesome because it truly was.

Our morning had been horrible. I woke up to Joe panic screaming that the bus was coming in 20 minutes. I had to get up, get showered, get dressed ... and Joe had to get my breakfast made and packed for me to have at the office, had to get dressed to help me go down to the lobby ... it was a mad rush. I made the bus with both of us panting. I'm not sure what the driver thought we'd been up to in those moments before we arrived in the lobby. But I was on the bus.

Later on in the day I got a phone call that had me feeling like life was just unfair and that trust is just another word for 'stupid'. The phone call was long and the conversation painful, I hung up just before heading out. I almost decided to stay home and mope. But, I wanted to feel fresh air on my skin and agreed to go along with Joe to pick up a new alarm clock.

On the way home I saw something that made me stop.

There is a fellow who often asks passers-by for money. We give to him when we have change. We sometimes exchange a few pleasantries with him. He frightens a lot of people because his movements are a bit unpredictable and his hands are very, very, dirty. However I have never seen him be less than pleasant, offering a 'have a blessed day' to everyone, even those who refuse him money and those who treat him with disdain.

I saw, from a distance, that he was lying down, asleep, with his coat pulled over his face. I'd never seen him do that before and suddenly a man that frightened people while awake looked so incredibly vulnerable. Really, deeply, vulnerable. I noticed something else too but I had to get closer to see what it was.

And I found tears rolling down my face.

Maybe because I had been feeling tired.

Maybe because I was feeling defeated.

But maybe because was I saw was wonderfully beautiful.

Someone had tucked, in the crook of his arm, a big bottle of cool, clear water and a box of granola bars. Some stranger had seen him sleeping and decided that this man, who slept in vulnerability would wake to a world where kindness was yet possible.

I almost took a picture to post on this blog and on Facebook. But I didn't. I felt that would be an intrusion into his privacy. A man who sleeps in full view of others needs, I believe, at least some privacy.

To the person in the city of Toronto who bought this man food and water - know that your gift was bigger, way bigger, than you could possibly imagine.


Jayne Wales said...

A simple gift of kindness and concern and just complete consideration for his situation.xx

Princeton Posse said...

Kind of gives you hope, doesn't it? I know that so many acts of kindness go un-noticed and unsung. It's the quiet ones that go about their business and along the way, make the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the events of our days make us more vulnerable to appreciating unexpected kindness . . .

AkMom said...

Beautiful. Someone cares.

Ettina said...

I did that sort of thing once. We went to a conference in Toronto, and at the end of the conference one of the organizers was pretty much begging us to take the remaining food because otherwise it would go to waste. I ended up filling a cup full of stuff I didn't like to eat, figuring I'd find someone to hand it off to.

On the way back, I saw a guy sleeping on the sidewalk, and he seemed like the perfect recipient for that cup of food.

Unknown said...

Thank you for that beautiful mental picture this morning.

Belinda said...

Wow. Big sigh. There is more than one way to take a picture, and you did it in a way that left him the dignity he deserves.