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All we need is love

Updated: Mar 7

On a snowy day, one year ago, a stranger walked onto my property from Highway 9, in Mono, Ontario.

As he approached, it became apparent that he was merely seeking refuge from the relentless storm raging outside. The man, clearly homeless, had been walking along the busy highway.

He looked for refuge in the garage and I quickly invited him into the warmth of my home.

It became evident that his mental faculties were compromised. During our initial conversation, he mentioned his destination as Georgia, a long, arduous and 1,600 km journey from our northern location.

His name was David, a weathered soul of sixty years, originally hailing from Kitchener.

I fetched dry, warm clothes to replace his soggy attire, offering a semblance of comfort amidst the bitter cold. I poured a cup of coffee and prepared Dave a hearty breakfast.

Asking about family David briefly touched upon his past, his words laden with a weight I could sense but not fully grasp. He alluded to their absence, a void that seemed to echo through the depths of his being.

In his eyes, I glimpsed the traces of emotional struggles endured over a lifetime, burdens too heavy to bear. It became apparent that the road that led him to homelessness and addiction was paved with heartache and hardship, each step a testament to resilience in the face of adversity.

As Dave gradually settled into his surroundings, a sense of curiosity led him to explore beyond the confines of the kitchen, venturing into the adjacent Carriage House, a rustic structure tucked away just off the kitchen.

Respecting his need for space, I allowed him to wander uninterrupted. However, when I heard the subtle sounds of movement, curiosity piqued, prompting me to follow suit. Upon entering, I found Dave had moved the mini fridge and was crouched by the power bar on the floor, deftly maneuvering cords and cables with purposeful intent.

Surprised, I inquired about his actions, to which he replied with a disarmingly simple explanation - "I'm just cleaning up your cables; they look messy." In that moment, amidst the tangle of wires I couldn't help but marvel at the unexpected kindness and initiative displayed by this weary traveler.

Dave had arrived on the property around 10 am, and with the knowledge that the cold weather shelter in Orangeville didn't open until 9 pm, I realized I would have his company for the entire day.

As he busied himself with organizing cords and cables, I found him upstairs in the loft area. Standing halfway up the stairs, hidden from his view yet able to be heard, I felt compelled to share a sentiment that had been brewing within me. "Can I tell you something?" I ventured. Curious, Dave responded, "What's that?" With sincerity in my voice, I uttered, "I love you, man." There was a brief pause, filled with the weight of unspoken emotions, before Dave's heartfelt response cut through the silence. "That means more to me than you will ever know," he replied, his words carrying the resonance of gratitude and connection that transcended the bounds of a chance encounter.

As the day unfolded with Dave's presence, it became increasingly clear that he was offering me more than just his company – he was providing a profound perspective.

Amidst his efforts to untangle physical cables, I found myself confronting the realization that my own "emotional" cables were equally twisted, burdened by a tendency to take life too seriously and to worry excessively. However, amidst this self-discovery, an unexpected call from my mother, who suffered from dementia, added another layer of complexity to the day.

Yet, amidst the whirlwind of activity with both Dave and my mother, a transformative moment washed over me.

In that instant, as if a haze had lifted, I found myself smiling, feeling an overwhelming sense of release and clarity. Dave's presence and my interaction with my mother had offered a powerful reminder to let go of unnecessary worry and embrace life's moments with a lighter heart.

As the clock struck 9 pm, I drove Dave to his shelter for the night, feeling a mixture of exhaustion and contentment wash over me. Reflecting on the events of the day, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the intuitive impulse that led me to invite this stranger into my home earlier.

Despite the weariness that settled in my bones, there was a profound sense of fulfillment knowing that I went with my heart and invited Dave in.

I realized the true gift lay in the connections forged and the mysteries of the universe unraveled through acts of love and compassion. It dawned on me that love is indeed the universal connecting cord that binds us all together. By opening our hearts and doors to others, we not only enrich their lives but also experience the profound joy of sharing love with everyone we encounter.

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