Homeless, but at home in Cleveland

Maura and I took a day to play tourists in our own city this weekend. We parked near St. Johns, the church that I love downtown, and in close proximity to the library, Cleveland's true hidden treasure.

I'm working on entries into a photo contest so we were really allowing ourselves to be visually absorbed into what Cleveland has to offer.

During our self-guided tour the clouds looked exaggeratedly poofed full of air. Surreal and cartoonish.
The sky was bright with sun. The breeze was cleansing. It really could not have been a more perfect day for taking photos - or for just being at peace in the place we call home.

While walking past Mall B, the greenscape with a clear view of Cleveland's solitary windmill, I witnessed a moving act of kindness.

There was a gentleman laying on the lawn, I assume he was homeless as he had his things all near him and a sheet covering his head. Yes, he was alive. Behind him there was a group of individuals gathered socially. As I was watching a woman walked over near the man and placed a brown bag lunch next to him. She didn't wake him, just softly placed the bag at his side.

I was so moved while watching it that I didn't snap the photo when I should have - during her act of generosity. I did snap away afterwards trying not disrupt the peaceful moment that had just occurred in front of me, however the pictures don't do the moment justice.

Seeing this reminded me that there are distinctly aware people in the world - people that step outside of their moment to see what is going on around them. And beyond that they do something to make it better. Those are the type of people that can and will change the world - they already are in small ways all of the time.

Find that type of kindness within you. Give even when you are not asked to give. Love people. Realize that we all start out the same and little things along the way deliver us to where we end up. Sometimes they are within our control, sometimes they are not. It doesn't matter. Do what you can to make life easier for other people. We are all in this together and we really do have to take care of one another. Especially when we are blessed to have the opportunity to do so.


~JarieLyn~ said…
This is a great story. What a wonderful thing to witness and to feel so touched by the moment.
Audrey said…
Great story! So humbling, and such a good reminder. I would like to think that I would have left the brown bag lunch as well, but I am not certain that I would have thought of it. Going forward I will! Such a simple act, can have such a huge impact on someone elses life. I want to be just like that woman!
Keith said…
Lovely writing, VBL. She was certainly making a kind gesture, but I wonder if it does damage in the long run? I'm glad he got something to eat, but she also worked as his enabler to stay homeless. He learned that if he contributes nothing to society and sleeps out on a lawn in public, people will give him free food. It sounds like a very touching moment to witness, but it teaches him nothing about how to take care of himself.

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