The value and importance - really the necessity - of home clearly cuts across class. Everyone seeks comfort and shelter and sanctuary in some way, even those with next to nothing. Two Baltimore Sun items yesterday morning speak eloquently to this point.
Stephen Elliott, a former heroin addict, was homeless until Deanne Callegary and L.R. Wagner, volunteers at a shelter he frequented, performed an audacious act of tikkun olam (Hebrew for repairing the world) and invited him to live in their barn and tend their goats. I often question the worthiness of human-interest, front-page Baltimore Sun picks, but not this one. Mr. Elliott understands and appreciates his great good fortune, channeling, in an admittedly unusual way, the words I wrote two months ago "If you're lucky, home is where you're comfortable, safe, and loved." I hope and pray this humble place of healing and blessings will compel Mr. Elliott to find his way all the way home, whenever and wherever he himself determines that to be.
The second article appeared, oddly, in the police blotter (are certain items included just to make sure we're paying attention - I mean, who doesn't remember last year's theft of the Woodlawn garden tomato with a street value of three dollars?). Too short to excerpt, here it is in its entirety: "Police were seeking an apparently homeless person who forcibly entered a storage locker in the basement of an apartment building in the 300 block of Pleasant Ridge Road on or about July 25 and lived there for a short period of time. While in the storage room, the person painted the walls blue and improvised a burglar alarm by placing a bucket full of water atop the door so that anyone who attempted to enter would be soaked."
Blue hues prompt feelings of relaxation, harmony, and holiness and in some cultures the colour blue is thought to chase away evil spirits. Our enterprising storage room resident made himself comfortable and safe and, my, he must really love blue. His temporary lodgings may have been his Taj Mahal to Mr. Elliott's barn to the place from where most of us are truly lucky enough to be reading this.