At the end of a long winding day, sitting here at the curb as the day turned into the next is a sanctuary.
The quiet night, the cold wind, the darkness, the fresh, clean, unpolluted air. Now that the pandemic tested people even more and the distancing measure left less than 30% of people outside, even better.
I use to live this way: in silence, in relative isolation. Alone, but not lonely. More time than ever now, I miss those days. It was tiring, it was desolate, one day is more crushing than the other, sometimes it seems like impossible.
In front of me there is this row of stray cats, happily gobbling strips of fish, or pouches of food. Just like the way it is for me, it’s their sanctuary after a long winding day that started when all of a sudden the sources of their food simply vanished.
There are more of them in different places, sharing the same experience.
I looked up to the sky. Sometimes I find the moon, sometimes I find the stars. Sometimes both, many times, none at all. There are question that keeps resounding at the back of my mind, about when all of these challenges will be over. The longing of good old days, the resolution that we’d take better care of ourselves and each other, so that none of this thing should happen ever again.
There is no answer to those questions, not from me, at least not me alone. The rest of the world as one has to answer that. For this moment, I can only bask in this little piece of joy and serenity doing what I always want to do.
But how am I supposed to sustain these little joys? Joy to my ugly world, joy to their even uglier world. The sun is setting. The longer the pandemic stretches on, slowly, one after another, people are losing their resources, and when they lose resources, charities, and especially smaller ones like mine, looses theirs.
I hope that day will never come, but if it does – God forbid – , what should I tell them, who ran and hop toward me with gleaming eyes, that my bag is empty?
What should I tell the hundreds, that defeated greatest odds, just to find my home that I no longer have the medicine to ease their pain, to treat their elderly bones?
What should I tell these little souls, who found new life from boxes and bags left on the street and markets and pastures and all weird places, that today is the beginning of their long, miserable end?
I took a deep breath, just so my burning head will not turn to ash.
I stand up and looked into my empty bag. It’s time to go home.
Nobody will know whether the end is near or far. Nobody will know whether tomorrow will or never die.
We all can only believe, we all can only hope. I can only try. I can only have faith that the universe, God, loves all creatures, and have stored for them their living until the day they would move to the next. I can only have faith that there is enough for everyone.
I can only put forth my best effort, today more than the last, to find that pot of gold that will bring my charges and I through the day.
I should only know that tomorrow is another day, so let’s make it the best day whether it’d be the first, or whether it’d be the last.