Hope is where you see it

The circumstances merge.

The circumstances merge.

I was driving to work an early morning of World Series week, still somewhat bleary-eyed from my beloved baseball squad’s defeat that ended not too many hours ago.

Gray day. A little drizzly.

Eight hours in store for me.

Then ahead I spotted a rainbow. A big one, too, stretching toward me as I approached my exit.

As I neared the intersection and my turn, I spotted a man holding a sign. The homeless do this in my part of the world around Syracuse, N.Y., hoping motorists caught at the light at the end of the exit ramp will read their plea and fish for change, or a buck or two.

This fellow wore a Mets jacket. The rainbow ran right over his head. I reached into my pocket and grabbed my iPhone 6 to take the photograph above. It’s a cross-section of hopes to me, a metaphor of end-of-the-rainbow believing.

May the man fill his needs of the moment, and somehow right his life. That’s by far the trickiest of this equation, of course. My New York Mets thumped the Kansas City Royals upon return to their home Citi Field in Flushing on Friday night, avoiding a sweep in this World Series. There will be a game five tonight, a must-win for my Mets. I made a left turn and continued a couple of miles to my job.

Happy Nov. 1, fellow Peppers. May you enjoy today’s start of Nano Poblano, our team for this month’s NaBloPoMo.

Remember that Rara has our team BlogRoll here, and you can find the Pepper mission and helpful instructions here.

I was a car back and rolling when I passed this man, so I waved this time. How do you personally address the homeless in your area? Who’s going to win this World Series? What are planning for your life this November?

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58 thoughts on “Hope is where you see it

  1. Very nice Mark. I work in an area that has several shelters nearby as well as several “camps”. It is a tough situation that has no easy answers to be certain. The fact that you made eye contact and waved, that in itself is more than most would do.

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  2. this is one of my fav pictures of yours ever. as for the homeless, i try to help wherever i can, even if it is just with a kind word or a smile. i flipped to the last few innings last night and ouch! was watching the michigan game at the same time and somehow we managed to pull it off. great post.

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  3. I give to those in need, but I don’t give to the shift-changing crew in parking lots. I’ve seen them shift change, and exchange signs. Those people are definitely scamming. But actual people in need? I give to the food bank, and tell them so. I’m big on fighting hunger, so I’ll offer food. I’ll give them some cash, but not too much. I rarely see these people, to be honest.
    We had a guy, I think an addict, come to our house twice, after he’d asked The Mister for some cash around the bend. The Mister had given him cash, then, but about a month later, he came to the door with the same story, about how his truck broke down. The Mister offered to go have a look at it, and take the gas can, but the guy declined. Then, months later he came back to our door. I was home alone, and I offered him soup and pie, but I told him I didn’t have any cash. He had such a desperate look about him, but I told him he’d already come to our house and we’d already given him money and we weren’t going to give him anymore. I haven’t seen him since.
    There’s an actual homeless man who roams our area, including our local food bank. I always give him money and food if I’m packin. He’s not well, mentally, but he’s a nice man. I get angry when I see people honking at him and his cart in the street or shouting at him to move. Local business owners treat him well. He’s a much better human than most. And that’s all Imma say about that, cause he makes me weepy, Mark.

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  4. I try and give these guys change if I have it, but most of the time I have no money and I have to apologize to them, and say I am sorry, but I have nothing in my purse. I can’t even remember the last time I had cash in my wallet.
    I don’t know if I told you this, but one time I was down at the Main Library with my son, had to go in a get a book for him for a project. There was only metered parking and as usual I had no change. A homeless man came up to me and asked me if I had any change, I said I didn’t, and then asked him if I could borrow 50 cents for the meter. He gave it to me. I had a dollar and gave it to him.

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  5. Oh this is a wonderful picture. It reminds me of the poem by Emily Dickinson about hope… “I’ve heard it in the chillest land and on the strangest sea”, yep– Hope can be found everywhere, and sometimes– if we’re lucky, and patient, and willing– can be caught on camera. πŸ˜€

    Good luck this month, Mark! ❀

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  6. Wow, what a picture! Hope it means the Mets will take the series …and even more so, that this man will find his way to a better life. Sadly, this sight is all too common around Syracuse — I regularly see the shift change as I pass by. What breaks my heart the most is the young couple near Destiny – the girl wears a SpongeBob Square Pants backpack. Hope her and her boyfriend find that rainbow!

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  7. I always give what I have. It is not my job to judge whether they need it or are honest. My job is to give. A couple of dollars here and there is not going to break me, but will put some food or water in their body. Too many people allow their assessment of “need” to be their excuse to never help. I err on the other side. Give, give, give. Can’t go wrong with that kind of attitude.

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  8. If I have M with me, he will wave and (if the windows are down) talk to the person asking for money. 9 times out of 10 they are perfectly polite and not pissed that he doesn’t always have money to give. I will smile and wave if I am by myself but I don’t carry money with me so I dont want them to think I am trying to give money when I don’t have it.

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  9. Great photo even if the circumstances are sad. One major difference between Australia and South Africa – there were so many people at most of the street corners, and in Sydney we don’t see any (apart from a few homeless in the city that collect on the sidewalks).

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  10. Great shot bro Mark. We don’t see many rainbows around here, just concrete trees, huge cracks in the pavement that could swallow my chair, and bumpy rides. I do, however have a bird’s eye view of the season from my window, and next to me there is another even better view of the south end of town, much better than my northern view. My vintage Kodak takes some amazing photos even now, so I’m constantly at the window here or next door at my “patio” snapping away.
    I think most of the downtrodden people in this town have been moving in here lately. We have one small elevator that works most of the time, about 190 people living here, and the only elevator get locked off most of each day so no one can use it except the people who are moving in. No more emergency call lights in the apartments, so God help anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone, and who doesn’t have it charged up at all times. A totally illegal situation, but no one seems to care.
    As for helping? If someone needs it and I have it, sure. Why not? It’s a habit I’ve had most of my life, maybe all my life. When you come from a large family, you just grow up sharing. It’s in your blood.

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