Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I can see clearly now

I have a new perspective this morning. My computer and Internet are up and running, but a virus attacked my system and blew my video card. The new video card will be installed this evening. In the interim, I can see, but not clearly now. But I do have a connection.

Like life, sometimes I appear connected, but I'm not seeing clearly.

Yesterday, we held a 'calling the spirits home' ceremony at the shelter where I work. The ceremony was in honour of the 177 individuals we know have lost their lives to the streets over the past five years. It is a horrific number. 177. Ranging in age from 18 to 90. Women, men. Caucasian, native, Somalian. They cover all creeds, faith, colour and gender.

It was a beautiful, and sorrowful, event. It was very important.

When someone loses their life to the street, their spirit is lost with them. For me, the ceremony was not just in honour of those who have physically left this plain, it was also for those who continue to wander in the murky alley ways of street life, wandering through a haze of alcohol or drugs, searching for some meaning to why they're here.

Why me? they ask. Why this?

I don't know the why's of how someone's life led them to the street. I do know, there is no reason for them being there, other than it is the life they have fallen into through the choices they made, or that were made for them, somewhere down the road.

Street life isn't a conscious choice. It is a choice though. A choice to let go of possibility. Of change. Of dealing with, coping with what life has offered up. Sometimes, the choice is made because the individual doesn't have the coping skills to take a different direction. Always, the choice is made based on current conditions, prevailing attitudes, known circumstances. And always, the choice is deadly in some way.

Yesterday, we called the spirits home for 177 individuals who lost their lives to the street. May their spirits wander no more. May they continue their journey home to the 'other side', light of heart, joyful in spirit.

And may those still lost, or whom are losing their way to the street, find their way to a different place. May they find the courage and strength to walk away. To back up. To take a different direction. May they find their way home to a place that is safe, back to whom they are meant to be in a world of opportunity and abundance.

The question is: Are you making choices based on fear of the unknown, or are you choosing your path seeing clearly the world around you, connected to the beauty of your spirit, walking in love?

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