As I walked this cold winter’s day I encounter a humble looking man wheeling with difficulty on the snow and ice laden side-walk, a tattered store shopping cart filled with age-weathered odds and ends. To avoid the narrowing passage-way I raised my hand to indicate my alternate path to which he took as a sign of acknowledgement and, reacted with a quite hello. Sizing up the stranger, wearing a dirt-stained hooded winter coat, he looked to be a man of the street, possibly homeless. We both stopped momentarily if not only long enough for me to gaze into his eyes and observe the hardship pained on his unshaven and age-creased face and, to my astonishment, presuming the harshness of this man’s life-journey, he smiled exposing his failing, decaying teeth, reflective of his beaten state and likelihood of much pain. In those few brief moments of encounter two main thoughts came to mind: firstly, how one who shows all outward signs of a dark, humble and difficult life could/would react to such a brief encounter with another, with a smile and, second; to question if each human, life-journey presents situations of, or by, our making or, a path to fulfill a preordained destiny.


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