Thursday, October 7, 2010

How deep is your social community?

I check into my daughter's blog occasionally. It's always reassuring when I discover I am not portrayed in a negative light and often offers insight into what hides behind the simple, sporadic words she shares.

This morning I discovered what motivated a random bike ride after an exhausting afternoon of horseback riding.

And while I immerse myself joyfully in social media, the thrill of discovery in the SoMe-sphere cannot come close to how this moment of community delivered by my child touched me.

Adventure Hour

We passed him in the car,
driving down the off ramp.
He looked as if he hadn't showered in days.
Rag clothes,
and a heavy plaid jacket.
His eyes were filled with sadness,
I wanted to scream at my mom to pull over.

So I came home,
grabbed my bag.
Filled it with two granola bars,
a packet of Ritz crackers,
a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.
Took two water bottles from the trunk,
and piled them in.

I opened the door,
reaching for my helmet,
all the while,
waiting for the garage to open.
I back up my bike,
closed the garage.
Put one foot on the pedal,
and swung the other leg over.

Bike fast,
I thought to myself.
Faster, faster.
Hoping he was still there.
I careened down the gradual slope,
cursing at the stupid sidewalk curbs.
And I kept biking.

Until I spotted him again.
He was still alone.
Pulling his jacket tighter around his body,
even I could feel the wind picking up.
He was on the other side of the street.
On the corner of the intersection,
where all on and off ramps meet.

But when I crossed the street to his side,
I saw him smile.
I smiled back, and got off my bike.
Putting down the kick stand.
And I said to him,
"I have something for you."
And feeling a bit silly, I asked,
"Is that okay?"

He just nodded as he watched me,
like any moment I would try and hurt him.
I took my bag off my shoulders,
pulled out the grocery sack that held everything,
and I placed it on the ground
close enough for him to reach.
He looked up at me and smile.
I smiled back, and said goodbye.

I have always taught to avoid the personal pleas of those who stand on the side of the road, that if you are motivated to give, direct your gift to agencies trained to assist those in need. I still believe that, but what my daughter did made me proud, even if I would have said no had she asked.

For those in the Southwest Washington who would like to support those who champion the underdogs here are two of my favorite organizations:

Council For The Homeless  
Tireless workiers in this 501c(3) nonprofit
2500 Main Street
Vancouver , WA 98660
Council for the Homeless Facebook, Events.

Open House Ministries  
Open 24 hours, so when I'm cleaning I can deliver at that moment
2500 Main St
Vancouver, WA, 98660
Open House Ministries Facebook, Twitter, Events.

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