“The Beckoning Of Lovely”
Published on November 14, 2008
I live across the street from a pretty huge desert park. Basically a concrete paved trail that snakes its way through a pretty vast landscape full of tumbleweed, some palo verde trees, and cactus. Nyla and I walk there daily. So do lots of other dog owners, joggers, and bikers. But recently, there has been a few homeless people living in the area. I noticed the one day there were five policemen arguing with one of the men that spends his days just sitting like a Buddha under a tree, with his huge, dirty backpack of belongings by his side. The policemen left and he ended up moving down the street and took up a home in a covered bus stop. Placed a blanket on the bench and everything.
Sometime last week I was walking Nyla pretty late across the street in the park. It was quite a cold evening–yes, it gets cold in the desert. It was dark out and suddenly we almost tripped over a man that decided to make the concrete trail his bed for the night. He too had a backpack of belongings, but he used his as a pillow, instead of a companion. Just laying there on the cold concrete under the stars.
Instantly I thought that this man needs something to sleep on. So I ran back home and grabbed one of my old–don’t use anymore, ultra-pink, foamy, Yoga mats and headed back to the park. I placed the rolled up mat next to the man and softly said he should sleep on it. The man grabbed the mat and threw it at me.
Ok, not a Holiday Card moment. But I’m sure this man lives his life in constant defensive mode.
I walked away and went back to my warm, loving apartment. Grateful for the life and circumstances I’ve been blessed with.
I didn’t go back to that park until Saturday morning. Nyla and I were walking our usual trail when I spotted the man. Then, out of nowhere he left his backpack behind and started running! I thought he was running from me, but when I turned around to look at what Nyla was getting excited about I saw two policemen running after him. I had to—I stopped and watched. I watched as this man, completely grey in color from his oily, long hair and beard, to his sweatpants, and sweatshirt–he was only holding my bright, ultra-pink, foamy Yoga mat in his arms as he stopped traffic running from the police across the crowded street. It was quite a sight to see…beautiful actually, if I may dare. Something about that flash of grey with the ultra pink. But no, something even deeper then that. He left everything behind…except the Yoga mat. I’d like to exclaim that that’s the power of Yoga—but Yoga has very little to do with this.
All I did was be kind to another human being who was in need. I don’t have a whole lot to give. I can’t change his life. But maybe I helped him have a better night’s sleep. Maybe, for once in a long time, he felt kindness.
But that man is gone. I haven’t seen him since his appearance as a flash of color running across the busy street.
I initially wanted to keep this story to myself. I only told Hansel. But, I just viewed this video below and it got me thinking….thinking how important and HUGE the little things are in life. A simple gesture, a compliment, a nice word, a tiny gift of chocolate even. A smile. A Yoga mat you never use.
The simple things, the small things…they make a big difference in life. Think of if we all lived by this idea—how much more pleasant and peaceful life could be.