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For many of us darkness is a time where we can settle into the comfort of our beds and drift off to another world. Some nights are more challenging, we fight with our pillows or wake up before we feel well rested. Sometimes we turn on the lights, make a cup of tea and eventually return to our nest to get some much needed rest.

For people who live on the streets or are homeless, night time is often filled with terror, pain and discomfort. It’s difficult to fall asleep when you’re exposed and vulnerable. Likely the ground or sidewalk where you have created a makeshift bed is bitter cold, even in the summer. This type of cold gets into your bones and is difficult to make peace with. It burns up what few calories you were able to fuel yourself with during the day. There is never enough food to find relief from this discomfort. It eats away at your soul and steals your precious dreams.

Lola and I slipped out of our comfortable little nest for one more pee before bedtime. We heard crying in the bushes. I asked the gal if she was Ok. She was afraid she said. The police had scared her. They questioned why she was singing and dancing in the parking lot. They thought she was drunk. She said they don’t understand me. This is how I am. Singing and dancing helps me feel better. Her name was Theresa Magdalene, like Mother Theresa and Mary Magdalene she said. She was afraid her partner might find out. He could be violent. She was concerned about the state of the world. About people not taking care of one another.

She asked me to be her partner. She had a brilliant idea but needed help with it. You know the advertising and stuff. She wanted to help people quit smoking through singing. She said the deep breathing would help them. She held an imaginary cigarette in her hand as she started spinning slowly in circles. Theresa Magdalene waltzed her way off into the night having shared her hopes and dreams with a soul sister and her little dog. Each of us hoping to make our difference.