Saturday, April 4, 2009

Two Dollars

This year the din of "Hark the Herald Tribune Sings, Advertising Wondrous Things"
(thank you Tom Lehrer) has been so incessant, I've felt tempted to spend December in a cave,
eating boiled groats, until my bah humbugs were banished by a gift we received from Linda.
Linda is one of our more mysterious visitors. She comes to the van for dinner every Tuesday and Thursday, speaking with no one, and then disappearing. I don't know for sure that she's homeless, but the fact that's she's always wearing a backpack suggests that she is. She is reserved, and does not invite conversation. Once I asked her if there was any other kind of help we could give her, such as referrals to other agencies that might be able to help her with housing or employment or anything like that. She told me that she is fine and has plans. That was many months ago.

Two weeks ago Linda gave me a $2 donation for the Home Van. I folded my hand around the dollars and said, "This is a bus pass." She smiled at me and said, "Yes. And it's six stamps or four phone calls." We stood together for a moment, marveling at this, and then she disappeared.
I've been thinking about all you can do with two dollars. It's also a piece of chocolate, a cup of hot coffee on a cold morning. At the dollar store it is twenty utility candles, enough to sit in one's tent and read every night for a month, a pair of reading glasses, a pack of cards, two rain ponchos...

Two dollars is connection, travel, comfort, light...

Two dollars is everything...

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