We had an interesting time on our regular Saturday morning bike ride. Thankfully we managed to avoid the wild weather which flooded some areas and ripped roofs off several houses. The breeze was starting to strengthen but we managed to stay dry despite seeing flashes of lightning around us.
The interesting part was about five kilometres into the ride heading along Reid Highway. We were just starting to warm up the muscles when I spotted something several metres off to the side of the roadway. It looked like a body.
I mentioned what I’d seen to the guy I was riding next to and he said he’d seen what he thought was a garbage bag. I was still sure that there was something more to it so I told the other guys and all of us turned around and headed back to see someone lying there completely still. The top of his head and his bare feet were the only things not covered up. His jacket had been pulled up over his face and it was easy to see how he could have been mistaken for a garbage bag.
One of the other cyclists moved towards him and was about to bend down to see if he was OK when we heard a voice say, “I’m alright. I’m alright. Thanks.” While he was polite about it, it was obvious that he just wanted to be left alone. We got back on our bikes and headed off.
I was so pleased to know that he was alive and OK but I was still saddened to think that his life had got to the place where he was sleeping rough on the side of a highway, especially as we head into winter.
I wonder what kind of story led up to that moment. What had happened to bring him to that point? Who are the people left behind? Is there a home he can go back to or is this all he has now? I really hope that he comes to realise that no matter what has happened in the past, this doesn’t have to be all there is for the future.
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