Focus on the Warmth

Summer is usually such an uplifting season. We bask in the warmth of the sun and spend more time outdoors. I weed my garden and the microbes in the soil that are supposed to boost serotonin production do their magic.

But I notice that summer looks different in Boyle Street than it has the last few years. For one thing, there are more people out pushing grocery carts with all their worldly possessions piled into them. I’ve also noticed that when walking the streets fewer people say hello. Almost always the “cart people” greet me, but fewer of the housed persons reply to my “hi!”.

I wonder if the two are not related somehow. I have generally found the homeless to be more similar to me than different. I know some neighbours who post sightings of the homeless and warn neighbours to lock up their goods. I’ve had a few things stolen from my porch and it angers me. I don’t know if the negative reaction to increased presence of the homeless in our midst is the result of thefts or simply unkind stereotyping. These homeless people at one time congregated outside of Boyle Street Community Services. But because of the proximity to Rogers Place they have been asked to move, lest game goers be “forced” to encounter them as though they were to be considered lepers.

Also in my neighbourhood I see devout Muslims walk to mosque in unseasonably hot weather and recognize that, during Ramadan, not eating or drinking water from sunrise to sunset is more challenging when the days are so close to the Summer Solstice.

My thoughts also turn to politics and though I don’t follow world affairs closely, I can’t help but feel uneasy at the craziness of the leader of our southern neighbour. Why I should fret about things I cannot change escapes me, but I worry nonetheless.

All in all, despite everything I see in this season of discontent I am going to focus on the good things. I will bask in the sun which warms my blood. I will take the opportunity to chat with people as we meet in the street. I will live in the moment. I will make the best of the season.

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Volume 40, Issue 2 will be published March 15, 2019. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also accept submissions of poetry, and cartoons. Deadline: February 20, 2019. Send submissions to: Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.