Constant days and nights of rain in my freezing ramshackle of a cabin with just a few dollars per meal while pushing myself physically beyond what I thought my 44 year old body could handle has left me with an unrecognizable person staring at me in the mirror.
My beard is completely gray, my uncut hair tangled and matted from not showering, hidden under a brown knitted hat that has lost all shape and form.
Nights are difficult to sleep, the air so cold my shaking body wakes me throughout the night. The stench of homelessness in my sheets permeate my dreams, a never-ending theater with nightly features showcasing my neglected life. Blankets that were left for me at my door by kindhearted people from are the only layers that separate me from the plunging freezing temperatures.
Each morning I take a deep breath and exhale into the air to see how far my breath waifs and lingers, I prepare myself to crawl from the warmth that outlines my tucked-in thinning body. Covered like a monk and struggling not to shake as I heat water for my tea, I shuffle through the 9’ wide living space that houses my bed, a chair, a writing table and small wood burning stove. The fire doesn’t start right away, the paper and kindling are damp from the moist air. The lighter so cold it won’t ignite. My slippers get caught in the massive blanket parka that covers me and I begin steeping my tea, hoping that it isn’t too cold by the time it’s ready to drink.
I am constantly amazed by what our bodies can do and handle, the force of will and determination that is inherently within us to get the job done. Each day, chopping wood, raking, digging – I shower trying to scrub off the dirt and I realize they are bruises. My hands so sore that I can’t pick up my fork so I eat with my dirty fingers poking through my grimy work gloves.
With the end of another day, I lay back in my cold bed in my ramshackle of a cabin looking at the home I made of it, proud of how I take care of it. The yard is raked daily so the lines of gravel create perfect neat rows leading right to my front door. The bright green moss covered rocks get swept off one by one as if they were forgotten knights holding court.
Having only used what was presented to me in order that which they were, and, was needed turned my ramshackle of a cabin into a home for me and Adam. From outside you could see that a proud man lives here. Proud of what he is given and only needs what he can carry on his back.