I know it's hard to believe, but I really wasn't in the mood to go to work today. But as I was on approach to my work neighborhood, an odd thing happened. I had the strangest sense of the place just being alive. Bustling with energy, and commerce, and men and women living their lives, and being a community.
I work on the east side of downtown. Far enough away not to be caught in the traffic and concrete jungle, but close enough to feel like the city. It's a cross between a growing restaurant row, a very large medical facility, and a homeless community.
I saw the patients of the hospital outside on the sidewalk in their hospital issued gowns, desperately sucking the life out of their cigarettes before they had to go back inside the smoke free facility. One guy actually had his entire bed wheeled out onto the sidewalk, and was hooked up to an I.V. Nevermind the entire campus is smoke free, including the sidewalk...that just makes it all more ironic.
I saw a man walking down the sidewalk angrily talking to himself. Unfortunately he was walking AWAY from the Christian Mission, not towards it. And as always, as I approached the mission, there was the usual buzz of men coming and going. Some looking sad, some lost, some scary, and some perfectly happy. Many of them leaving in pairs, showered up and clean, with a friend they may have just met. Sometimes I wonder if they'll stay together long, or soon part ways.
But I also saw a city bus, full of people headed all over town to start their day. One lady was wearing a Subway uniform, another lady was wearing scrubs.
I passed a truck with it's flashers blinking; the driver busily unloading a rack of uniforms to be delivered.
In the air, I saw a helicopter to my right, and a large UPS plane full of parcels coming in for a landing on my left. Parcels my husband would be sorting and moving to different aircraft in a couple of hours.
I saw the usual long line at the McDonald's drive thru, and the "locals" who sit out front every morning, drinking their coffee.
It was Farmer's Market day on Gray Street. The farmers were already beginning to arrive; setting up their booths, and making sure everything was in place for the day.
I saw a young woman with three small children; two of which were in two separate strollers. She looked very tired, and I wondered where she was going. More importantly, I wondered how she got where she was in the first place.
The pizza chefs were already arriving at the Italian restaurant next door. Time to start making the dough for the day. It has to rise for a few hours, you know.
I love my little work neighborhood. It's plenty diverse. It's good, and sometimes it's bad. But one thing is for sure; today it was alive.
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