As I watch — mostly from the sidelines — I am constantly reminded of being burned out of an apartment when I was 31, and my oldest son was not yet a year. The small family of us (three) moved in with my in-laws for a few weeks until a house turned up in an unlikely location, and is the address where I sit now and type. I didn't desire this location then. It was considered most unsavory, even dangerous. I remember my brother not allowing his daughter — my niece — to babysit. (Ironically, now that gentrification has had its way, my 'hood is hip.)
What began in terror and fire, with my rescue of my baby from his burning bedroom, ended up becoming a beloved home and neighborhood: a life. We rented here because it was what we could afford. We purchased the house for the same reason. I happily, and gratefully, live here now because I choose to.
In my version of prayer and intention, this young (very young, and with four children under the age of four) family in distress will get their own chance at a future that will offer stability, community and a measure of abundance. Only, I can't guarantee even a micro-fraction of that. (And O, for a magic wand.)
All I can do is listen, offer advice from the sidelines, and be emotionally supportive to those who are attempting to bolster this precarious collection of vulnerable souls.
Tallying my own modest blessings this November night: shelter, food, heat, family, friends — easy to type on this keyboard, easy to make appear on a computer screen. Not necessarily so easy to conjure when you're living out of a car.
|from "The Migrant Mother Sequence", Dorothea Lange|