Monday, April 19, 2010

Colin and Sarah

His name is Colin.  Her name is Sarah.  You don't know them.

The truth is, I don't know them either.

Colin is from Canada. Sarah is from Illinois.  They met in Atlanta. You know, just passing through. That was four years ago. 

I have no idea how old they are, maybe somewhere in their 20s.

Five years ago, Colin travelled on his own and then Barreth showed up and has stayed by Colin's side ever since. Barreth is black with a white chest, white-tipped tail, and a white patch across his face.  After spending some time with them yesterday, I wondered if Colin adopted the pup or otherwise.  I'm still unsure.

When I met them, they were looking for shade.  That's all, just a spot of shade for the dogs. 

I sat back and watched them.  I watched them knowing that I had a house, that I had money in my wallet, that I had options.  I assumed they did not. 

Neither Colin nor Sarah asked but I called them to me, asked if I could give them some water for their dogs.  Sarah opened up her large camping backpack and pulled out a metal camp cookware pot.

Colin is rail thin, sporting a scraggly dark beard and a ring in his nose.  He has several tattoos and walks with a limp.  His skin is dirty but his smile and eyes are bright.

Colin and Sarah were in Houston, planning their way to Dallas.  From Dallas they plan to go to Las Vegas, to get married, Sarah tells me with a smile.

Sarah's hair is strawberry blond and in dreadlocks, her lip pierced, her brow tattoed.  Her voice is light and friendly.  She too has a dog with her, also strawberry blond, big dark eyes, sweet disposition, tail in constant wag. 

This little group of gypsies hops trains to get where they are going.

I asked Sarah and Colin if I could call anyone for them, let anyone know they were doing okay.  They shook their heads, No.  Sarah says she just spoke with her mother a couple days ago.  Colin added that they speak with their family every three or so days.  Sarah tells me, They don't really understand how we choose to live our lives, but that's okay, they still love us. 

Yesterday, after spending some time with Colin and Sarah and their dogs, I rented a hotel room for them.  Nothing fancy, just a room and a bathroom. They did not ask me to do so, I asked them to allow me to do so.  Colin needed to get off his feet.  Sarah needed to get out of the sun.  Both needed a good shower and some rest.  Last night Colin and Sarah had hot water, running water.  Water! They had toothbrushes and soap and sunscreen.  They had dog food and dog treats.  They had a bed and a break, just a 24-hour break.  I hope they slept well. 

It's raining right now.  They have the room until 11:00 this morning.  I like knowing that these friendly nomads are sheltered from the weather, for a time.

His name is Colin.  Her name is Sarah.  If you meet them on their journey, please tell them Alison says hello.



Lilla said...

If more people reached out to total strangers as you did, the world would be a kinder, gentler place. You will probably never know how much your gesture meant to them.

Bless you, Alison!

Susan said...

Your heart is big enough for (I can't even come up with a word that defines how big your heart is). I just knew I had to comment. You are one-of-a-kind. Now, if you could only solve the volcanic ash problem!!

Velvet Sacks said...

God bless you and your generous spirit. I'm sure the shower felt fresher and the bed softer because they were gifts from a stranger with a big heart.

Jenny said...

What you did for Colin and Sarah is something that so many of us say, "I wish I could do that"...which is silly, because we can--we just don't take the trouble to do so. You're an inspiration and your kindness will be returned.

ghost said...

i like this. very much.

shellyg said...

This is a beautiful act of random kindness, and love for humanity. You have once again inspired me.
Thank you.