I had the opportunity over the holidays to reflect on past blogs and dug up 10 or so ones I am going to share in the coming months. This was from my time in Toronto.
I have seen her around my neighborhood a few times but have never really had the opportunity to talk to her. Well, that’s not true; I have had the opportunity, but have not had the stones to introduce myself. Today is a beautiful Saturday morning, the sun is shining, there is a warm breeze and people are in good spirits. I thought if not today…when? Sometimes she is sitting around the corner enjoying the view, and in a much more approachable situation than today. At this moment she is actually walking away from my neighborhood, but what the hell. “Good morning, beautiful day isn’t,” I say. In a quiet voice, she responds acknowledging that she is enjoying the day as well. She is a little more reserved than I thought she might be. We talk about the area and the fact that there are not as many parks in the neighborhood, as there used to be. A lot of big buildings are going up and taking away the views, which I agree.
Now, she noticed the Chicago T-Shirt I was wearing and asks if I have been there. I did not realize where the question came from until I look down at it myself. I go on to talk about how Chicago is a similar city to Toronto. She has never been outside of Canada and laments how Toronto is getting too big and crowded and thinks outside the city might be nicer. However, she does like the convenience of everything right around the neighborhood. I detect an accent in her latest response. She tells me she is originally from Norway. I have never been, but I have been to Sweden a couple times. I mention to her how I enjoyed the people and spirit there, and how I thought it might be similar to Norway. She agrees and says that they are similar cultures. She was interested to learn that my grandparents were from Ukraine and came to Canada many years ago. I think she felt a little connection to someone who has roots across the ocean.
I decide its time to go. I did not want to take too much of her time on such a beautiful day. She seemed like she had somewhere she needed to go or something to do. I wondered what it was. I know I will see her around the neighborhood again soon.
Annabelle is homeless. I have seen her around my neighborhood for the last 5 years, save 1. For one year she seemed not to come around. I had wondered what had happened to her. I promised myself a year ago that when I saw her again, and the “time was right” I would go and say hello. That time should have been the multiple times I had walked past in the last 12 months, but it was today. And I am glad I did.
Reach out and connect with someone tomorrow, sometimes that is all they need.
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