It was the end of a balmy San Diego Christmas day. My family had just left, and as my kids were winding down from all the excitement, I tackled the clutter: finding places to put away the new toys, storing used gift bags for next year, creating shelf space in the pantry for stocking goodies.
My husband had his feet up, resting from all the cooking he had done for us, but I—like many women, I imagine— couldn’t seem to relax when I was surrounded by such a mess. Grabbing an armful of discarded toy boxes, I left my house and headed around the corner to the dumpster. We live in a gated condo community, and I worried the recycling dumpster would already be filled to overflowing.
As I walked down the sidewalk, I heard a man singing. I didn’t recognize the tune, but the man had talent and it seemed a lovely song. I looked around my tower of empty boxes and spotted someone sitting on a bench just beyond the gate: a homeless man with a shopping cart full of his belongings.