i promised myself i'd write more about my past, i don't see it at all as something to be ashamed of, but something to celebrate in many ways. first off, i survived.. and some would say that some of those years were the best years of my life.
living outside was once my preferred lifestyle. at first i had little choice in the matter, but once i got used to it, it wasn't easy to go back to being housed. i am still reminded in my everyday life what it was like to be on the outside, and i cherish those moments.. for those are the moments that people seek to achieve and have a hard time doing so, living 'in the now'.. being 'present'. it's one of those things that people in this rush and go society barely know, but out there.. every hour of every day is made up of moments. it's hard not to be present when every thing you do and every choice you make has an impact on the reality of your survival.
i still have my cart, the one i used to load up from my storage on laundry day so that i could wash everything i own at once. i also used it a lot when moving from place to place, from one storage room to another.. once of course i learned that it is possible to hang onto more than just what one can carry on one's back. anyway, i still use that cart for my laundry. i don't think i've ever had the luxury of owning a washer and dryer, but the low-impact mentality in me doesn't mind.
it was a pretty winter day, the first real snow had fallen, and the sun was out. it would also be the first day of the season i'd have to drag that cart out through the snow to wash our clothes. i did so with a grin on my face. i was well bundled, looked more like an urban gypsy than a girl going to do some laundry. after putting our clothes in the machine i hung my coat and went to sit out front to get some of that sun on my face while i had the chance.
there weren't any clouds in the way, the air was still and crisp.. when i closed my eyes and settled into the plastic lawn chair i was brought back.. i remember those moments, those breaks in the cold. when the sun was warm enough to peel back some of the layers and embrace it's rays. as if the goddess herself had sent a personal message to remind me that the cold never lasts forever.
my alarm startled me a little. i must have drifted off into the sun, into the stillness. i felt truly at rest. i remember now, the best time to get some sleep [out there] was times just like this. i would spend the coldest nights wandering to stay warm, and make up for the missed sleep when the sun would come around to watch over me.
i tucked my folded clothes back into the cart and started back towards home just as the sun was setting in my eyes. i didn't mind the glare. i knew the cold was coming back for the evening. with each step towards the house i recited my gratitudes, for the clean clothes i carry behind me, for the warm bed i have to go home to, for the food in my fridge, and the fridge for my food.. for the shelter and the company. i am blessed.