Spring is here! I love it—the yearly thaw, the sudden color of flowers and trees, the warming beaches, breaking out the shorts and dresses. I love it because it breaks the routine of winter. So, I got to thinking about rituals— habits, monotony, whatever you call it. It creates complacency, for sure. Yet, it also helps you to see and experience small things in life as significant.
For example, I went grocery shopping yesterday.
This means I had to walk the half-mile back to my college with ten pounds of food hanging off my arms. (Usually, it also involves tripping over cobblestone, hitting a metal can of food against my knee, and losing circulation in my lower arms.) It’s a fun time. On every walk, I see the same man sitting against the wall of an apartment building with his Pit Bull puppy in his lap. He’s a magazine vendor
and he’s homeless
. I don’t know his name. I don’t know where he sleeps or where he showers. I could avoid him, but I happen to be a regular customer.
He calls me “Darling,” in that endearing British way and we exchange a few words each time we see each other. (His dog finally let me pet it yesterday, too. Yes!)
The usual happens: I hand the man a 5-pound note—grocery bags still hanging from my arms. He hands me a magazine and 2.50 in change. We chat about his dog and we say bye.
“Have a good day, my dear,” he says.
It’s almost a mundane interaction, until I think about my summer with KNO and the talks I had with Anthony and Stephen. We talked about how small acts of kindness create our larger movement to end homelessness. You know: “Anyone can help, and we love that.”
My minor, habitual act is to buy a magazine on my way back home.
About the author: Jessica was the KNO Clothing Communications and Public Relations Associate during Summer 2011. She studies English and Sociology at Gordon College, but is abroad in the UK this year. She continues to blog for KNO and hopes to one day work as an editor.