By chance - Look Up
I was walking in a local park looking up for birds that I heard singing when I heard a voice ask me if I lost my Kite. With so many people in the park I paused at first and then he said I hope I didn't offend you. Of course not but that started an hour long chat and walk..
CJ was his name and he was just wondering what I was doing as I had a camera in my hand looking towards the tops of trees.. Just taking a relaxing walk photographing the flowers and birds as something I do to relax. He was there to put together some short videos for the job he has now.
We chatted about how we both got to the park that day.. CJ's story goes that after high school, college, having a great career.. he got seriously ill one day including a collapsed lung.. After spending a few weeks in the hospital, he had to use some serious pain killers to get by.. When they stopped working, his doctor just up'ed the dose.. That led to poor job performance, being laid off and him turning to the streets to feel better. Eventually that landed him in prison.
He said he had the fire to get well but didn't know where to begin. One of the people at the jail that helps when people are released said to Look Up.He didn't understand at first so he asked questions. He was told that watch people on the sidewalk as they go by.. If they are looking down its because they don't want contact with anyone - just get to where they are going, if the are looking forward, they are normally looking past people to where they are going and missing what is to the left and right of them.. So Look Up, see the sky, the trees, the... and then turn your head and see the beauty around you..
This lead him down a path to want to help others so they don't end up where he did. Today he is working with at risk youth, trying to get them to understand there will be challenges in life and how do you handle them.. The videos he was doing are short snippets of the beauty and joy there is around us - if you down, feeling low, want to take... see a short happy video, see the beauty, see the joy.. and maybe you won't do harm to yourself or others.. A very uplifting man that I met at by chance..
This is a Chestnut-backed Chickadee I saw along my walk..