I Can See Clearly Now

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The rains are gone for now. The air is crisp and clear and there is a light dusting of snow atop Mount Wilson and even more to the northeast. I couldn't get warm today. I know, I know, I am spoiled, but the petite ch√Ęteau is not insulated very well. The heater only really heats the area just in front of the heater. In summer, the perspiration drips from our bodies. You guessed it, the air conditioner only works when one is standing directly in front of it. I know I am lucky. I am grateful for so many things in my life. A roof over our heads, warm beds, jobs, love, excess, yes, excess. Likely not the excess of some, but there is always enough food, heat, cool air, clean water, clean clothes and fortune beyond my wildest dreams.

I have lived in India and have seen poverty. I live in Los Angeles and even in this land of excess, there are so many that live on the street, in doorways, on sidewalks. I am not talking about Skid Row, but here, in my little town. In the park, four blocks away, in my tree-lined neighborhood, with green lawns and new cars, there are people living under the bridge. A cold night, not too long ago, we were in a drive-thru restaurant to pick up something quick for my son. As we approached the window, there was a young man sitting in front of the restaurant with a dog. "Order an extra meal for him," I told my boyfriend. "No way, he might stab us." We proceeded to get into a bit of an argument. He reluctantly ordered the meal and by this time I was furious with him. " I will get out and give it to him!" I commanded. We had to leave the parking lot and go back into the entrance to get back to him. I was seething at my boyfriend's insensitivity. As we approached the young man, my boyfriend rolled down the window. "Are you hungry?"  The young man's face lit up like a candle in the darkest of nights. "Yes," he stammered. "Would you like some food?" my boyfriend asked. "Yes, yes, please." He handed the young man the bag, as my boyfriend turned to drive away, I saw the glint of tears in his eyes. "You never know when we are in the presence of an Angel." I said as we drove home to our wee cottage. 

Handing a lone person a simple meal is not the answer, I know. I think it is just an opportunity to open our eyes, to open our hearts. It is a time to know, really know, how fortunate we are to live in excess, to walk into a store and purchase not just what we need, but what we want. I am so lucky. So very lucky. Here is a link to a very interesting picture of how lucky we are... The Places We Live.


Frank said...

The undeniable truth is that in my 49 years, I have lived a better life than 99% of the human beings who inhabit this planet. I have had far more than most and arguably more than I deserve. If you're reading this comment, somehow you have access to a computer--most people don't. We often do not contemplate just how blessed we are, but all you have to do is look around--start at that freeway overpass and the homeless camp underneath it--and you can start to appreciate just how truly fortunate you really are.

betty said...

I never fail to be thankful for every meal I eat. It may seem unbelievable but I am. I've known hunger myself and I've been homeless and I appreciate every little luxery in life now.
Also, every little meal does help. It's wonderful that you SEE those people. Many don't.