I step out of our comfortable New York city hotel, grimacing slightly when my feet hit the pavement after yesterday’s touristy 27,000+ steps. Walking up to Starbucks for my morning Americano, I look up, admiring the light glinting off the tops of the buildings, noticing new stonework details, enjoying the early morning pulse of the city.
I turn after crossing the street and notice two feet, peeking out from beneath a blue blanket. A man sleeps against a building at the edge of the sidewalk. His two feet are clearly visible…pale and clean…surprisingly clean. Where are his shoes? Does he have shoes? I imagine them clutched to his chest, held safely, though I can’t see beneath his blanket.
Two feet. That’s all I can see. In my mind I frame them, those two feet swaddled in blue, and snap a picture. I think of baby pictures, those sweet shots that zoom in on tiny hands or feet nestled in the folds of a blanket. I wonder who once washed these feet. When did this man’s path go astray? What steps has he taken to arrive in this place? Are there loved ones who worry for him? Who tried their best? Or did their worst?
Two feet. A blue blanket. A New York sidewalk.
And then I walk by him and continue on my way.
How many others will do the same today?