Homeless By Choice. !

Freedom..........
Freedom..........

An Interesting Man

Early morning at the harbour, just as the sun is rising, must be one of the most peaceful and beautiful places to be,.

At least once a week l used to walk there and watch the fresh fish stalls opening up and my greatest delight was to see 1 or 2 stray cats being given a whole fish by a kindly stall holder. The cats would have this huge fish tight between their teeth as they scampered away to a quiet spot of their own to devour their fishy treat.

l often watched them, thinking, Íf only human lives could be so simple.´.

It was on one of these mornings as l was gazing out to sea, watching the local Ferry Boat leave to sail across to another island., that l noticed a large bundle of rags on a nearby bench. As the rags began to move it soon became apparent that this was not a heap of rags, at all, but a slightly ragged blanket over a man who had obviously spent the night on the bench.

When l gave him a simple ´Good Morning!´. He stood up, stretched himself , yawned and and answered me in a very educated voice, that l wasn't expecting. He was also so clean looking, that l felt slightly ashamed of myself for making the assumption that he must be a homeless vagrant , in need of food and good bath..

The man began telling me how he used to sail , not only on a Ferry such as the one l was watching, leaving the shore, but on Merchant Ships to many different parts of the world. He had been a Merchant Seaman for many years.

His eyes were as deep and as blue as the Ocean, his face bronzed (but clean) . His dark redhair was slightly dishevelled from his night spent on the bench and his rather large, bushy beard, , had it been white would surely have earned him some money at xmas time.

Perhaps this is where l and many others go wrong , l automatically thought of how he could earn some money. How do l know what his bank account is like ? Maybe he just likes the outdoors. We were living in a beautiful place. A night under the stars with the sound of the waves lapping nearby would be wonderful.

l looked into those deep blue eyes again and could not see sadness or despair, more like contentment, happiness from a wealth of experience and peace.

He continued to tell me how he loved the ocean and mentioned some of the many places he had visited over the years.Singapore and Hong Kong, shopping in Shangai in the East China sea..

After listening to this gentle person for a while l dared to ask if he always slept on a bench...

Óh no, only when the weather is so hot, like it was last night,, and we don´t exactly get real cold weather here, ever do we?. If it rains l spend some time in one of those caves over there., he told me pointing to the caves l knew well, but didn't expect them to be occupied.

At that moment, as he was pointing to the caves, it was as if he´d suddenly remembered something, somewhere he had to be?. He lifted his huge rucksack onto his back ,Saying, ´´l must be on my way. Nice meeting you.´´ ............

As l watched him walk away l was left wondering how my new acquaintance had drastically changed his life, or WHY', from serving on ships that travelled the world, to walking between benches and his little cave. It seemed so sad and lonely, yet one thing l felt , for sure....... This man was neither sad, nor lonely. He was Happy, being content with what he had, not worrying about what he didn't have.

Perhaps we can all learn something from that. l know l did. , because l saw him many times again after that day, always he looked slightly dishevelled, but clean , well fed , and cheerful.!

Homeless but Happy.!!!.

More by this Author


Comments 34 comments

jacoryboozer profile image

jacoryboozer 4 years ago

This is a really good story if it's true.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Yes it is true. l lived in Tenerife for 20 years and met this man at Los cristianos harbour about 10 years ago.

Thanks for reading


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

What a wonderful write! My nephew traveled around the world with his backpack for several years and loved it--your story put me in mind of him.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

hello AudreyHowitt, pleased to meet you on hubpages.

I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment. Thank you.

Some people just seem to have the confidence to ´´roam´´.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Nice to meet you as well! It was my pleasure to read your work--


mindyjgirl profile image

mindyjgirl 4 years ago from Cottage Grove, Oregon

:)LIKE!!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you mindyigirl


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

I have mixed emotions, Dim. In a way I admire them. They have no responsibilities, nor do they have to live up to expectations. They seem to have made peace with 'themselves'. However, my sympathy lies in the fact they had to face some terrible storms in life to get to this point. I choose empathy rather than sympathy.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

hello..!!! Thank you for your thoughts on this. l often wonder what happned to him.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Happiness comes from within and it appears the gentleman on the beach had certainly found his. Daniel Boone would spend great amounts of time in the trackless forest all alone and therein found his greatest joy. Good reminder this reminisce. Happy New Years Dim!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you Alastar.,

It certainly was an enriching experience for me every time l spoke with him.

l appreciate your lovely comment.

Take care


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....a lovely lovely little story and just as lovely as this classy lady behind this pen - congratulations on your perfect score - you certainly deserve it - although I would give you personally myself a '200' ......

and I sincerely hope you had a nice holiday - safe happy and warm - and wishes for you in the new year for continued health and happiness. lake erie time ontario canada 4:26pm


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you epiman...... If we´d been living in a cold climate when l met this sailor, l´d have worried about him., but he genuinely looked healthy, happy and it´s Spring for most of the year on Tenerife and hot hot Summer the rest of the time. So l came to the conclusion that he just liked living outdoors, probably his earnings had been going into a bank all thos years he was at sea.

Of course l could be completely wrong. One thing for sure though, the lovely little kitties arriving for the early morning catch and the kindness of the fishermen and stall holders to my favourite animals always made me smile.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I love this story. Some people are happy just being alive. Greed never enters their mind. You were lucky to meet someone like that..Thank you..


nextstopjupiter profile image

nextstopjupiter 4 years ago from here, there and everywhere

I just spent seventeen months living on the road, hitchhiking, couchsurfing, working in volunteer projects... I almost lived without money (about 2$ a day), it was a wonderful experience, the best time of my life. The greatest experience was to expect the unexpected every day, sometimes every hour. And I never felt homeless. Thanks for this hub!


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Dim,

This was a wonderful account! Both of the shop workers feeding the kitties, and the sailor on the bench!

I admire people who can live like this. Alastar's right about happiness coming from within. For me, it comes from within four walls that have plenty of electrical outlets, a good sized bathroom and a high-watt hair dryer. :)

Therefore, I stand in sheer awe at those who can manage without the above listed necessities.

Excellent hub and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

femme


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Always Exploring..... Thank you very much for your comment.

Yes , l was blessed to meet this interesting man.

Nice to meet you on hubpages


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi nextstopjupiter...... 17 months is a pretty long time to live on $2 a day.!!!!! i hope you get time to write some hubs about your experiences.

Thanks a lot for your comment.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi there femmeflashpoint. (love the name)

You made me laugh, since l love travelling but feel too old for roughing it of any type. camping, caravaning, etc., No thanks.

l still love the idea of the travelling with all you need on your back and very little money,but it is not practical for this 61 year old.

Lovely to hear from you. Thanks.


jenubouka 4 years ago

What a beautifully written story Dim. Maybe he knows a lot more about life than we dare to see.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Who knows?. One thing´s for sure. He didn´t much care about material things.

Thanks for the comment.


nextstopjupiter profile image

nextstopjupiter 4 years ago from here, there and everywhere

I published already six hubs about my travels (Living on the Road ...), more are coming soon.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

This was wonderful ,I enjoyed every word and this gem has to be voted up up and away of course.

Here's to so many more to share now and in the New Year .

Take care my dear friend.

Eddy.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you Eiddwen. It was an interesting experience and l sometimes wonder where he is now.

Take care.


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 4 years ago from USA

We just never know who we may meet, and what impression they might leave with us.

And isn't it amazing how some people have so much faith... or something... to sustain them, that just nothing gets them down?

What a lovely story, and I can just picture you there having conversations with this man, and going away from them feeling good!

Thank you so much for sharing!

P.S. How wonderful that from all the places this man traveled, he picked there to reside. So YOU could meet him, and tell all us!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

What a wonderful comment, Runabstract. Thank you very much.

l especially liked your p.s. because l often used to use the early morning sea front as a way of meeting people l would never find through the day. He was one person l was certainly glad l met.

l appreciate all your comments.

Take care.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 4 years ago from Wisconsin

It is certainly an interesting story. As for "homeless choice?" It's something I've said many times that people choose their paths and destinies. Sometimes that's allowed simply by choices and circumstances created by the individual.

I think there ARE some homeless people who are content with their lives. I think the majority of them, however, are not like this man you encountered.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

l totally agree with you, that almost ALL homeless people are NOT like this man. However l found him interesting .

l also thougt at the time, that it would be different if he was not living on the island where cold means 17 degrees centigrade. !!!!!!

Thank you for you feedback


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 4 years ago

That man knows how to live life.What a wonderful story and we are blessed by the people we meet.I often wondered what it would be like.Then I go out in the yard to camp out for the night.Between the bugs and the heat It is not long before I go back in.Then I say how much I appreciate all the conviences of today.When I can take a hot shower and take a yogurt out of the fridge.I will settle for looking up in the sky and thank my lucky stars I have a home and food to eat.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Ha Ha !!! l´m with you, Dream On.... The conveniences of modern plumbing will always pull me back to modern living.

Thank you for commenting.


ExoticHippieQueen 4 years ago

What a wonderful story, Dim! Most homeless people are unhealthy, hungry, dirty, and often mentally ill. God bless him wherever he is. Thanks for sharing!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you for your comment. You´re right, it is unusual to meet someone like this man.

I was in the right place at the right time, because he certainly enriched my life at the time.

Take care,

Dim


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago from Arkansas

It is very nice to know that some homeless people are happy and healthy, but hey, he may not have been homeless. He had his cave to live in. It reminds me of a young veteran who used to live in a tent with his dog on a hill just above I-40 close to my home. There were two convenience stores just across the freeway, so he had access to food as long as he had money. He and the dog were friendly and most people liked them. Then he made the mistake of moving closer and the authorities took note. They ran him off and we don’t know where he went. The establishment is not kind to the homeless. Enjoyed your hub and voted you up.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 3 years ago from Great Britain Author

I loved your story too up until the authorities got involved. What a shame if he was happy and did no one any harm.

Thanks a lot for commenting my memory.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working