Not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone

Sometimes it’s the little things you might miss the most. Things most folks wouldn’t know they missed until they were gone, like a day off.

Our community took a day trip to Webb Memorial State Park earlier this month. It was a perfect day to head to an ocean beach- clear blue skies and super hot. We cooked some excellent burgers, sausages and hot dogs. Had some delicious pasta salad and fruit salad.

For some, just getting away from the Waltham streets for a while was respite. Being able to stretch out and take a nap in the shade, or sit with the cooling breeze washing over them without concern whether they were sitting on the right grass, in the right place, or whether they would be asked to move along. For some, it is hard to sleep at night, and the soft breeze and shade provided a more restful place to catch a few winks than wherever they laid their head the night before.

We enjoyed a day of camaraderie, friendship and fellowship. We navigated busy roads both ways and got a little bit stuck in traffic.

This was the best part for one of our friends.

Wait…what? Yes, that’s what I said.

“It has been a long time since I sat in a car full of people and listen to some good ole rock music,” the woman said, catching me by surprise. This bright woman, with years of experience as a teacher, stunned me when I found out that we had the same taste in music. Hearing familiar beats from decades past amid new friends, was the highlight of her day.

“That was better than your walk along the beach on a perfect day?” I asked, somewhat confused. “Yes,” she said, “I forgot how much I missed just being able to turn on a radio and relax.”

Most people today have come to consider many things to be “rights” which our community realizes are actually privileges, like a day off at the beach or relaxing to familiar music. I am constantly learning from the community around me that while we show up, pray and care a great deal; we will never truly know what experiencing homelessness is like until we have actually lived it ourselves. This is a lesson I seem to need to learn over and over again.

By Rev. Korte Yeo,
Chaplain

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