Meaningful Connection Downtown ♡

Morning light yesterday , everything glowing orange after the sunlight filtered through the smoke.

I walked out of the subway station, coffee from David in hand, backpack on my shoulders, hair washed and body clean, ready to do good things with other people in my day. And I passed someone I’ve passed before, whose name I learned is Darryl.

An aging man in a wheel chair with some unclear types of wrapping around his neck, asking for 1 penny from everyone who passed. I stopped to speak with him because as I said I’ve passed him before and he seemed so friendly.

{what’s going on?} “Someone is helping me find a place to stay,” he told me. {are you alright?} “I had a surgery on my back,” he said.

I gave him a small bill and he had already begun to fan out his drawings. He hand-selected me his finest work of realism. “I think you’ll like this one the best.”

{what’s your name?} “Darryl!” he shared, as I shook his hand and grabbed my coffee, preparing to leave. His eyes grabbed onto mine, like a lot of other things he wanted to say were welling up behind them; they had a feeling of urgency and excitement in them. To be clear it wasn’t need, or gratitude, it was recognition. Darryl knows I’m on his side.

I got a lot of information in a short encounter {as usual}, but the last connection I made as I walked away was just how many of his teeth were gone. I just had a root canal last month that was quite an ordeal – almost a month from diagnosis, to crown, root canal, healing, etc. The pain was real. And I couldn’t actually fathom the pain he’s managed just with his teeth…

They say CONTRAST is one of the best teachers, and I continue to agree. The reality that Darryl’s and my worlds are so different was difficult to make peace with, as I continued walking toward the Tower. The contrast was so intense it kind of took me off center because I let it in. You see, we all control what we let in. And many days in a downtown commute, I do just walk by others. Doing my best to manage my emotional state, my time, my safety – a lot of things combined.

I’m grateful to have met Darryl, received his drawings, and made a real connection yesterday.

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