elderly fella walking slowly around the cliff path. its lashing down with rain and he has built up specialist shoes, bandages on each leg and is hobbling about holding on to a Zimmerframe with wheels. I walk up and with a bright hello I ask him if he wants me to shelter him with my umbrella – he seems delighted and admires Willow, my dog. his wife catches up with us and he tells her that there is another gentleman in Bude, and that makes me feel really good. I walk him the short distance to his gate, the rain stops, and i walk back home feeling good that even though my knees hurt a bit, its nothing like whatever he is going through. its a really nice moment this morning, and I feel grateful for my health. if I spot an opportunity to deliver a small kindness, i almost always try to take it, its as rewarding to help as it is to be helped.
some lads are sleeping at my Tramp Headquarters. This is a shelter on the cliffs near me, where I walk Willow every day, and where I was due to drink some breakfast Guinness this morning, just for the hell of it…
nice lads these two, each with a horrible tale to tell. I took them some sandwiches and a can of Coke last night, after one of the lads had been beaten up a bit by some others – 5 on 1. Cowardice teamed up against vulnerable people. Horrible. This morning I stopped by again to see how they were today after a rough night and a rough morning. Only one lad was there, the beaten one recovering and drying out elsewhere. I asked Karl how he was doing…no surprises, he was cold and wet after being soaked all night. I offered him some clothes and he was keen, so I nipped off and got him a tee-shirt and 3 jumpers that I could spare – truth is I haven’t worn them for ages – and Adele added in 3 hard boiled eggs, some cheese slices and a packet of biscuits. Hopefully this will have eased the rest of the day somewhat.
how lucky am I that I was only wet through walking the dog without wearing a coat, that I slept in a warm dry bed and have an endless supply of food. Its good for the soul to meet others who have considerably less, and good also to give to them, so that their situation is improved, however briefly. You never know how important an act of compassion may be to someone – it may be the lifeline that prevents someone from giving up altogether.
if you see someone struggling or suffering, give them something if you can, even a greeting and a smile is a long, long way from being ignored.