Coming from Atlantic Canada, cold weather is unavoidable.
Cold weather reminds me to be grateful for the basic necessities: shelter, warm running water, heat, hot bowls of homemade soup.
You see, I do street out reach work every Tuesday. How fitting– today is Tuesday!
I started this volunteer work in the heart of the Canadian winter.
We go to the known-to-us tent encampment sites with a hot meal, carafes carrying hot chocolate & coffee, treat bags & bottled water.
Did you know that houseless people show tremendous gratitude for water; simply because it freezes outside in the winter and they can’t drink ice?
Often, houseless folks heat their tents with propane and candles which increases the chance for tent fires. This early spring, I was present at one of our sites and witnessed a fire start. The person we were serving had a candle going for heat.
So, to answer the prompt. I feel tremendous gratitude for the things in my life most people take for granted. I have learned so much from the experience of working outreach. I have met some of the most kind hearted humans who are just having a bad day– or a string of bad days. When we have a really frigid day or when the temperature drops below freezing at night, I often think of these humans and pray they are safe, have enough propane to stay warm and receive compassion & grace from those of us on the outside looking into their world.
If you have capacity to give to your local outreach organizations I encourage you to do so. If you are local to me (Saint John, NB) and would like to donate food, clothing, tents, clothing, money please reach out.