Saturday, April 12, 2008

First day at the park

I am a man of assumptions. I can assume anything. I have assumed nearly everything I think I know. And every once in a while I am reminded how foolish I really am. I guess you could call it being humbled. So be it.
As usual I was filled with expectations, assumptions, and fear when I set out today. I was out the door early to feed people. Little did I know what to expect although I was sure I knew exactly what was to happen. We were up around five and downing coffee potent vitamin supplements. It was a cold crisp morning greeting us with an unblemished baby blue sky.
We left around 7:00am and headed directly to the 99 viaducts. There was surely to be plenty of takers there. I gazed around with mixed feelings. On the one hand I wanted to feed these people more than anything but at the same time I was afraid to do so. I can't be sure it was only fear of the unknown. It seemed like there was a little laziness involved, a little hesitation to be reminded of myself, and the fear of crime. We went ahead as planned nonetheless.
We arrived in the Pioneer Park area of this beautiful Seattle only to find it basically desolate. Sure there were people here and there but not many and the crowds seemed more like rowwdy football fans than homeless. After spotting a mission Shraddha suggested we approach the man leaning out the door smoking and ask for some advice. So I did. And advice he gave. He said to park our car in a nearby lot with the back open and we'd surely have some business soon. He was right. It took a few minutes but then they came.
Now, I told you all about the flood of very real emotions I felt. Well, it was nothing compared to what I experienced after we got underway. Soon a line formed and we were tearing through the pancakes and coffe. There were smiles and tahnk yous and God bless yous and all the treats. There were curious onlookers and quick takers. There was the town marshall who seemed to have everyones respect and attention. There was the loud ones and the soft ones, the large and the small. There was one thing in common, however, and that was a genuine gratitude. A heartfelt, although subtle, gratitude. Grime and Gratitude. And Chris had a blast!

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