Feed the Squirrels

I usually seek refuge at Starbucks while I wait for our highschooler to have his American Lit class. 
I say seek refuge because it has been too hot to go to the park and take a walk or sit in my car to work.
Even though it was 90 degrees, Yesterday I couldn’t face The Weird Starbucks and it’s questionable players in this show called life.

The Weird Statbucks is located in an area that draws to it those of all walks of life. I usually find this fasinating. Fodder for thought, conversation and writing. But sometimes, like now, the noise and differences of opinion and walks of life prove to be too much for me. I am feeling a little fragile. A little hopeless. A little at sea as how to proceed and model hope for my family and friends. Because, I am not feeling very hopeful.

When not feeling hopeful or chipper or in a positive frame, I can count on several friends to uplift me. I can count on a few writers, and read and soak up their positive spin. I can listen to music and let the instrumentation and lyrics fill me.

Not this time. This time the struggle seems to be universal. It has hit our collective core. It is pervasive in it’s hold on our country…even the world…

Therefore, I retreat. I go inward. I hide within myself until such a time as I feel it is safe to go out.

So I went to the park even though it was 90 degrees.
I took a chair out of the trunk of the car and set it up under a tree. I had some paper work and emails to attend to…. 
It wasn’t so bad. Until it was..
It was so still that it was uncomfortable in the shade. I know. I know. But my resting comfort level is 72 degrees.
I stayed anyway.
There was a group of homeless encamped a bit away from me… As they wandered by me on their way to the restroom or to take a walk, I would say hello and go back to what I was doing…. Pretty soon about five of them came up to me…. (I was feeling badly as I was out of cash and *stockings…)
They asked me who I voted for and if I thought I was “Worthy” to sit in their park…

I asked why they wanted to know who I voted for. I asked who they voted for, as I packed up my chair and papers, purse, phone, iPad, etc,,,
I told them to have a nice day and started toward my car….
“She looks like she voted for HIM” was said to my back….

I got to my car escorted by three of them shouting at me as desperate undiagnosed and unmedicated people sometimes do….
I had my husband’s car which needs one hand to hold up the hatchback so it doesn’t fall on your head. And the other hand to put the stuff away….

One of the men reached past me and held the hatch up as I put my chair away. He took great care to let the hatch lid settle back gently into it’s place.
I got into the car. As I was leaving, I rolled down the window to say thank you.

“ You should have voted for her.” The man who helped me said.
“I did.” I replied.
He looked surprised.“Then you should look like it…” He told me. I wonder, still, what that meant…

I drove to the other side of the park and parked in a spot of shade, unrolled the windows and put the seat back hoping to catch a 20 minute nap.
I dropped off for about 10 minutes and was awakened by the sound of tap…. tap…. tapping….
I sat up convinced I was losing what was left of my mind. And I could not locate the source of the tapping.

I then looked to my right, three empty car spaces away, was a man in a pickup truck, with gardening equipment in the bed. He was tapping on the outside of drivers door, where he was seated.
As he tapped, I noticed he had a peanut in his hand…. A squirrel hopped right over to him and took the peanut.
The gardner repeated this over and over for half an hour….
He looked over at me and out of his dirt streaked be-hatted face gave me the biggest, most beautiful smile. 
I was so caught off guard by the sheer joy in this man’s visage, that unchecked tears flowed down my face… He looked at me…smiled and nodded his head…
And continued to feed the squirrels…
I still can’t explain the tears….. I will have to sit quietly and figure out.
I can say, this simple act made me so happy…..I am still thinking about it this morning…..

Happy One Week Anniversary of All Things Being Different.

Let’s feed the squirrels while figuring out the motivation for tears and how to move forward with joy to protect those that need it, to stand for what is right. Let’s continue to affect change, to not silence those who are grieving, those that are frightened, those who are angry.
Let’s help one another hold the trunk lid, while staying true to our values and ourselves.

Thanks for reading.

  • *Stockings for the homeless.
  • A package of tube socks. Take one sock and put it into the other one/
  • Add, mini water bottle, soft granola bars ( many of our homeless are lacking teeth) cheese and cracker packages, raisins, prepasted toothbrush, comb, beanie and mittens, hat, gift card to nearby fast-food place, $, notepad and paper.
  • Whatever you want
  • Keep them in your car or briefcase or purse and hand out with a smile.
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