Yesterday morning I ventured out into the bright morning sun here in Edmonton. Everybody is saying how wonderful the weather is, for the time of year. It’s indeed wonderful. Crisp and clear and golden with fall colours. So many people to re-connect with. And as I go through these days meetings are like precious beads on a rosary. (Not getting too mushy I hope.)

The first conversation I had yesterday was with two woman who stopped me on the street just along the sidewalk from where I am staying – near to Whyte Avenue. They had reflective vests on and looked official. I’d seen them already from an upstairs window talking to a woman sitting on a bench in the park opposite. The woman got up and moved away briskly after they had talked to her. Do I sense trouble? I thought. But no. Their mission was benign.

Do you have a place to stay tonight? one of them asked brightly. We are doing a community survey one added by way of an explanation. Yes, indeed I do! I replied and went on my way. So very many people are homeless in this city, a number live rough in the woods in the river valley through the harsh winter.

A monk wrote me wishing me well with my version of being a homeless monk . I think that term when applied to monastics is less about having an actual roof over ones head and much more to do with where one chooses to shelters in ones mind. In other words the idea is not to crouch comfortably uncomfortable in a place or position which has one locked up and unable to move on. In that sense we all can aspire to be homeless.

And with that, I’ll move on into the day. Postings may well be sparse for the next few days while I’m in Edmonton.

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2 thoughts on “Homeless”

  1. I have been homeless, thankfully not for long. After I had paid my dues to society, I found it had taken away my flat.
    It was a worrying time, fraught with danger. You were deemed expendable without an address. I had seen folks nearly killed because their home was a sleeping bag against a shop door, tis a sad thing.
    I remember an old man who lived under the Chiswick fly-over for years, he had built himself quite an abode, quite a palace made of pallets, sheeting and cardboard. He passed away quietly one winters night, I always remember him as being a contented and happy soul.
    He had an open outlook on life, I am sure he enjoyed it, the lack of modern chains to burden ones self.
    I smile when I remember him, a face that had a tale in every wrinkle. And a magnificent toothless smile

  2. Thanks for this. I meet people out on the edge and they are often like you say here. Less can actually be more, for sure.

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