Today our heroine is not (necessarily) writing about writing, dear Reader. That this post is being published to the blog just prior to Thanksgiving is coincidental, if you believe in such things.
Please let me tell you a story. It’s non-fiction, actually. I live in an extremely well-heeled town. In fact, it’s the only sizable town in what has been named the Richest County in the Country. I tell you this so you’ll understand how unusual it is to see someone by the side of the road with a sign.
We saw him yesterday for the first time. His sign read “Homeless Vietnam Vet.” We had no cash, but just picked up some burgers, so we stopped to give him one. Such a nice gentleman. My son and I wished we had more to give. (We are not exactly adding to the county’s status.) He was out again today, so while we were doing our shopping, I picked up some things for him.
I have some experience in being homeless. I shopped for the gentleman, picking up several items I knew I would have prized back then. Protein bars, fruit with pop-top lids, sweatpants without shredded knees, ibuprophen, even a chocolate bar. We don’t have much to spare, but we could spare that.
When we pulled up, he said, “You’ve stopped here before,” and blinked as I handed him the grocery bag. He didn’t look into it, just held it close, said it was gold to him. I mentioned my wish I had a place for him to stay, but he reassured me that he was okay. “You get home safely,” he said as we waved goodbye.
In his voice, I heard resilience and strength. I remembered having to rely on those qualities. On how I still must, but in differing circumstances. It was a moment I’ll treasure, looking him in the eye and seeing his openness to receiving help. He reminded me of being open to the possibilities life offers.
In Buddhism, we find those called Boddhisatvas. Essentially, these are individuals who have achieved Nirvana, but stand in the doorway to it. They reach out their hands and help us in mysterious ways to move toward them. I couldn’t help but think of him as one. I am filled with gratitude for his gift.
Are you watching for the Boddhisatvas or guardian angels in your life? I find them daily on Twitter, too. Fellow writers who share what they’ve learned along with their encouragement and support. Those who cheer one another on and celebrate each others’ victories. It is such a joy to be among you here on the blog and on Twitter. Thank you.