Friday, September 25, 2009

Winter in the Air

The nights are turning black early, with a sharpness to the air, when inhaled. I love fall. I love the black black nights studded in stars.

But there is a worry too with the coming of the cold. A feeling in my stomach.

The strays suffer so in the winter. And so do people.

When there are disasters and shortages, calamities of any sort, the suffering is greater if its winter.

In the summer, if you have no home or money you can find one remote apple tree, long forgotten by humans and camp nearby and have food all through the late summer and fall. Earlier, you can eat the berries which abound everywhere. There is a bounty of food for the taking in the mid valley from spring through the fall.

But not in the winter. YOu have to have food stored to survive if you have nothing. YOu can't pick things to eat from bushes and trees or from the ground in the winter to live, if you end up by your circumstance to have no other way.

If your roof is blown off in a storm or a tree falls upon your place to live or a flood consumes your living space or if you lose your job or your income and fail on the rent and the landlord locks you out, in the winter you must fall on your knees at the mercy of others, to live, if you cannot even take with you food you have saved for emergency times of nothing.

So with winter for me comes trepidation, and the knowledge it is harder to survive.

I know so many people out of work who have been out of work for a long long time. When I think of those individuals and families it is at the same time I am inhaling the sharp night air that signals fall has come, and soon--winter.

The back of my mind is whispering "How will they stay warm? How will they feed all those kids?"

It is rightful to judge people, to say "How could they keep having children when they cannot afford to even feed themselves?" These are concerns that should be aired. Resources are scant and those that depend on others to survive should be mindful of their impact, and grateful, too. Being grateful means not creating more of a burden on others and this means in part not producing even more dependent children.

I help strays by getting them fixed because the shelter solution isn't a solution at all. When I get cats fixed it means fewer kittens born, far less numbers of cats will be abandoned and abused, or starve or be taken in to shelters and then killed.

If I've worked very hard all summer to get in all the cats I know about, get them fixed and vaccinated, the winter is easier to bear. I don't have to think about so many out there suffering in the cold, starving. Fix your cats, people. It is the best way to reduce the suffering. The absolute most efficient productive way to reduce the horrible suffering out there.

1 comment :

  1. from the west coast to the east coast - its all the same, Jody. I knew someone once who did that - begging - for a "living" - thats right - he called it his job...he was homeless but didn't have to be. Even after he got a home, he continued doing this. He would get up each morning, get dressed in old scruffy clothes, go to the bakery and get his coffee and pastry, have breakfast, then head out to falls rd. or roland ave. with sign and stand there till lunchtime. He was well versed in the laws in baltimore city - no approaching cars, no outright soliciting - you can stand there as long as you are not impeding traffic with a sign. If someone indicates to you they want to give you money you are then allowed to approach the vehicle. Oh he knew the law inside and out. If an officer approached and told him to move along, he would - he had plenty of corners to work. What did he need the money for? His daily fixes, of course. Even after getting on a methadone program he continued. A newscrew followed him around once, trying to break him, but didn't succeed. His mother kept the account in her scrapbook - most mothers put things like pics of grandchildren, news of a raise, that sort of stuff in scrapbooks.
    we have our regulars on the corner up the street - you can tell when their check money is gone ..and once they get enough they head up the street to the local "drugstore"...Oh yeah, the guy I knew used a cane when begging. At the end of the day, he managed to walk without it...amazing. A miracle!

    These people are taking away from those who could really use some donations to get by until they can get a job. You know, the ones who go out looking each day, who have kids...or not, but still look and actively try to find employment.