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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

a tracery of branches

icy winter branchesI love the look of branches sheathed in ice. Especially when the grey winter light silvers them against the sky.This is actually a colour photo, taken out my breakfast room window — with winter a monotone of greys, silvers, charcoals and the occasional not-quite-white.

Winter is so much more beautiful — almost tame — when we have working central heat. It becomes a kind of 1st world game to keep the thermostat a bit low, so we have to wear layers (I have on a sweater over a Tshirt, and took this picture in comfort). The dogs snuggle on old rugs in front of the heating vent, and no one is suffering.

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But a few years back, a homeless man froze to death only 6 blocks from our home. He was trying to shelter under the drive-through at the bank on the corner. A bitter winter night killed him. And it brought ‘home’ to me what home means: safety. Warmth. More than a roof — the drive-through had that.

I know: it wasn’t (& isn’t) my ‘fault.’ But a homeless man, here. Freezing to death in my neighbourhood. How can that happen? How can we make sure it never happens again? Anywhere??

And the truth is? I can’t. Not really. Homelessness is a fact of the economic downturn, the greed of banks, and the apathy of most of us. I give to local charities that work with homeless women and men, but I also know that not everyone goes in to charity shelters. And this time of year — when it’s a windchill in the low 20s, and branches are cracking like gunshots as they succumb to sheaths of ice — they’re woefully overcrowded.

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But if we work together, WE can. Make a difference (and even one of us can do that, really). So here’s my hope: that everyone who reads this will send something — even a couple of $$ — to a local charity that works with the homeless. If each of us did, there would be thousands of dollar$ going towards warmth and safety and life.

It’s enough to warm hearts, for sure ~

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