mornings in the shelter
It’s slow going these days. Jesse is still in Beech 1900 training in Toronto, and I’m passing time at a wonderful friend’s home in Calgary. Things are a little disjointed while we sort out things like a home, friends, a church, employment, time together in the same city.
In contrast to my thumb-twiddling-first-few-weeks in Calgary, this last week has seen some busy days with early starts (my alarm dings while in the 4 hour). Walking to the bus stop well before dawn has exposed something about the city I hadn’t thought of before: it doesn’t ever get truly dark. The city lights cast an eery pink glow over the entire sky, making it well possible to clearly see the end of the street. 5 o’clock is a morning hour I haven’t given much credit. But instead of cursing lack of sleep (and the fact that it’s -20˚C) I’m enjoying the calm of the morning, the first light (albeit artificial city light), the buzz of workers on the bus while I enjoy my breakfast from a jar, the half hour ride passing flashing billboards and 24/7 drive-thrus. All to arrive at a local shelter, greeted by staff who have worked all night providing a welcoming, comfortable home to those without homes.
After a sometimes hectic (but incredibly satisfying) day in the kitchen volunteering alongside chefs with a heart to feed those without food, I have begun to cherish my down time in the afternoons. A chance to curl up on a cafe’s couch with a good book and a hot Phil & Sebastian Tea…
Or mix it up with a Phil & Sebastian mochaccino (using local Calgarian dark chocolate)..
Sometimes, a sweet treat instead. Cheesecake in a jar with rhubarb raspberry topping.
And a chance to count my blessings. The blessing of a warm comfortable place to come home to, where dear friends welcome us with open arms. Access to excellent, nourishing and fresh food. The option even, to beeline from a homeless shelter to find myself a top quality espresso bar. The blessing of a relationship that withstands, even grows from, such ongoing time apart.
Most importantly, and sadly the one I see lacking in so many of the faces I see each day at the shelter, the blessing of hope and a future – whatever it is that unfolds over this next season.