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.

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.

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 ~

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

I know education intimately. I’ve worked w/ urban schools, k-university, since 1990. At the district, state, & national levels. I’ve met w/ officials from across the globe (literally: Africa, Europe, Australia…). I have educator friends & colleagues around the country. So keep that in mind. The pro-DeVos argument  is loaded w/ biased rhetoric. Let’s begin w/ […]

Reading Jessica Livingston’s ‘Sound of Silence‘ struck so many resonant chords it was like she was playing my song. A soundtrack to a current dilemma I’m waffling over. Which is…to FaceBook or not to FaceBook. Livingston articulates the downsides eloquently: I’m sick of being a target for every neocon who buys alt-right agitprop. I’m tired […]

In a month of giving thanks for everyday blessings, people sometimes assume that I’m not grateful for the big things: my home, my family. My material well-being. But the point to an entire month of giving thanks for ‘ordinary magic,’ is to remind each of us (me especially!) that in our lives, there is much […]

Today I’m grateful, in this month of 30 days to remember all we have to be thankful for, that I’m an aunt. Being an aunt is a gift someone else has to give you — no one gets to ‘pick’ it. And it’s nothing at all like being a sister, or a mother, or even […]