Today was an unusually pretty day; the kind of day that anyone would wish for under most circumstances. The weather was perfect. I had driven to a near-by store for a few household items . I watched as others were shopping, as well. It was somewhat sad as I listened to a child, maybe six years of age, asking his mom to buy him a small chair. It was made of plastic and certainly suitable enough for his frail looking frame. His speech was garbled and that of a much younger child. His clothes were shabby and he seemed unkempt in general. At any rate, I watched briefly as she picked up the little green chair and told him," I will get this for you, but don't tell your daddy". He quickly agreed in his garbled speech while clearly expressing how elated he was. His smile was priceless.
I thought of the complexities the words held for this little one and the implications of growing up being taught to fabricate things. His basic foundation was being built for sure.
I finished my shopping and started back home. I passed a bag lady with a grocery cart full of items; probably collected from the dumpsters close by. She was walking slowly as if the world had forsaken her.
Further down the road sat two men in the shade of an old tree; they had small suit cases beside them. I recognized their faces as those that stand on the streets with signs. You offer them work but they quickly refuse and ask for money for food. Yes, you tell yourself they will buy whiskey or beer or drugs. They are, for the most part, bums. I can't help but wonder about their heritage. What happens to bring someone to this life of begging; one where you no longer care of your appearance or personal issues, including being homeless.
As I drove along in my car, to my home and my life of comfort, I felt a sudden sadness wash over me. I felt empty for some reason. I questioned why these feelings of melancholy all of a sudden. Maybe the little boy that loved the little green chair. His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree; but he must remember not to tell his daddy about it. Maybe it was the little bag lady; or the men that allowed themselves to be imprisoned in another world; one that we do not have to live in. No, there are no physical bars holding them but something kept them in this strange world. Something in their minds that left them without the desire to escape. They no longer cared.
I thought of the people in my life that had passed away; my children that had moved on in life. So many things washed over me leaving me to feel like a tree branch standing barren and alone. Suddenly, I felt cold and bare.
I placed my thoughts inside another compartment as I unloaded my grocery items. What would happen to the little boy, the bag lady, and the haggard looking men sitting on the ground with their suitcases?
I walked into my home with all of its comforts and realized how thankful I was of my own life; but how sad I felt about so many things.....