Today, working with a client, I heard staff talking about a man who was outside in the smoker's area. I could see him from the window. He had just been standing there for quite some time. Someone said that he was homeless, and that he has a place to sleep at night but during the day he had to leave.
Although the calendar tells us that it is spring, we'd gotten about six inches of very wet snow. I looked at this man, thin, with a white beard. Not doing anything, just standing there. I tried to imagine what it was like to be turned out into the elements every single day. We've really had quite a bit of snow in the last month. It cannot be pleasant outside in the cold and the wet, with no place to go.
When a couple smokers went out, he looked straight ahead, not making eye contact. When they went in, I saw him picking up their butts, and carefully putting them in his pocket. It made me feel a little sick to watch him.
I sometimes forget that there are small people in this world who struggle in ways that I cannot imagine.