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Homeless By Choice. !
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.!!!.