The rumbling of a motor

crashing of metal

is the first thing I hear.

Listening is not pleasant,

hearing is not a choice.

Isn’t it too early?

Isn’t it too early to wake?

Stretch, tiptoe to the window

on cold wood floor and see

a mass of motored metal,

a man lifting plastic bins

of discarded wine bottles,

cereal boxes and junk mail,

his brown gloves,

knit cap, jacket zippered

against the chill of the morning

up so early working

so hard,

his children snuggled still in bed,

his wife in her robe, eyes half closed

making him coffee,

off into the day he goes,

my wake-up call and carting away

the reusable waste of our day

all in a day’s work,

rumbling down the street

as I stretch and sip tea

and hope to be


as he.


I wrote this poem this morning, so between this and the previous post you can read how even earlier today I was reflective and searching for my little place and purpose in the world. Sometimes small purposes are handed to us.

I had an errand to run for one of the places where I volunteer. It was in a rough area, the kind of area where you don’t want to walk alone even in daytime.  Afterwards, I was walking toward the parking lot when a young teenaged girl calls to me while walking towards me.

“Hey! Excuse me. Do you know where ____Street is?” She hurries closer, breathless, eyes large and darting in what I take as nervousness or fear.

She is talking on her cell phone and talking to me at the same time.

The street she wants is several blocks away from where she wants to be and she is not even heading in the right direction. I point out to her which street to take, tell her which way to go, the most direct route away from where she is.  All the while she remains on the phone, carrying on a conversation while trying to grasp the directions.

She seems bewildered.

“She’s telling me how to get there…” she says into the phone.

Then to me: “It’s my mother. She’s in Alabama and I’m here visiting my grandmother and my mother is freaking out because I am not supposed to be on this street.”

Ahhh. Me, being a mother, would freak out too if I had a young daughter who happened to be on this street wandering around. It’s a grey commercial route of abandoned and boarded up buildings and empty storefronts.

“OK, I’ll walk you over there, ” I say.

She relays this to her mother.

“My mother wants to talk to you…”


“Could you please just…”

She hands me her phone. Her mother repeats what the daughter has told me, as well as how she is from here and she knows what a crummy area her daughter is walking around in. I reassure her that we are already off of that street, heading in the right direction, not to worry. I am a little surprised that she trusts me, a stranger on the phone and so far away.

We walk blocks. I explain how to get to various safe and useful areas, which streets to take from her grandmother’s, and emphasize that under no circumstances should she walk alone around here after dark or go in the other direction again. I tell her of some interesting things to do and places to eat, too. Once relaxed she tells me of her plans, the sites she and her grandma will see: museums, shows, things they will happily do together.

I remind her to call her poor distressed mother to let her know that her dear daughter has arrived on a safer and walkable street.  She thanks me, smiles, and goes on her happy independent way.

I figure, beyond the mundane and the routine of my day, that was my little purpose today.

It’s funny how we are handed things, sometimes.

~ Lily


17 Comments on “Awakening…”

  1. free penny press says:

    Lily– you already are useful.. You are a mother.. while your children may have moved on to explore their new lives, without their Mother the exploration would be not as great

    • lily says:

      Well, I was useful but my kids are off on their own. They know that I am always here for them of course, so that is a quiet sort of usefulness that doesn’t require much of me. I think I am used to having more required of me By Loved Ones, and I miss that.
      ~ Lily

  2. irfriske says:

    You asked for an answer and the Universe granted you a reply… Ask, believe, recieve and then give thanks… Be open to each and all possibilites, where and what you look at is usually a reflection of where you are at inside… So expect and accept all the good you so deserve!

    • lily says:

      Yes, it does seem like I Ask and then Receive, oftentimes, doesn’t it Cat?
      I hope your sailing is still smooth these days. Are things still wonderful with you? Haven’t had a recent update, but know you are so busy.

      Peace and happiness,

      ~ Lily

  3. janinevasta says:

    Just beautiful Lily. A poem about generosity. x

  4. beachmama777 says:

    Lily, I loved this poem and the story attached to it. The universe will always answer your questions, as long as you trust in it. We’re all here for a reason, each of us unique and valuable parts of the whole. Don’t ever sell yourself short!

    • lily says:

      Thank you! I know. I have to be patient, and I have to be confident.
      Great timing, here! I signed on to wish you a wonderful time tomorrow. I hope all goes well. I will be thinking of you!
      ~ Lily

  5. What a wonderful work of words, Lily…and an even more wonderful to help a young girl! You ARE exceptional, and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently!

  6. “even more wonderful WORK”…fingers stiff today!

  7. I loved the poem, Lily. And isn’t it nice when we find a purpose to our day 🙂 You were like a guardian angel sent to help that girl and calm down her mother 🙂

  8. lily says:

    Hi Maggie! I’m glad you liked the poem. As to the angel-ing: I think it has to do with the “do unto others” principle. We hope someone would be there for us, and especially for our children, if needed. I am happy when I happen to be in the right place at the right time. Now if only that would happen in finding Mr. Right!
    Hope all is well with you and with your people in NJ!

    ~ Lily

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