Thursday, September 12, 2019

Suitcase on church steps

London, ON
September 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The scene: An impossibly beautiful old church on London's Talbot Street, a once-stately downtown thoroughfare that now serves as a shortcut for speeding commuters heading to and from work. The wonder from this street's glory years - including gorgeous mansions, lush lawns, ancient trees - remains visible, but the tattered edges are impossible to ignore.

The neighborhood is quiet as I wander through on a lunchtime walk, but the sight of an open suitcase on the front steps stops me in my tracks. What's the story here? Whose is it? Are they okay?

It's no secret that London has been ravaged more than most by the combined scourges of mental health challenges, addiction, and homelessness. Every downtown corner, alley, main artery, and side street now carries evidence of this growing, worsening story. Tent cities spread out beside the bike path beside the river. Discarded syringes and worse now litter shadowy alleys. And areas of the city once thought too far away from the downtown to be touched by this are adjusting to our new, tragic normal.

All of which leads me to believe this suitcase didn't just randomly find its way here.

I'll probably never know the full story, but I'm sure it isn't a happy one. I'm also sure I'll be seeing more just like it - and sure enough, two minutes after I continue my walk back to the office, I come across another pile of random effects strewn haphazardly across the steps of a local law office.

One wonders if we'll ever truly have the will or the ability to fix this. One wonders if this is even fixable at all.

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Tabor said...

Millions of refugees are going to be in all of our futures. Can we fix that?

Shammickite said...

Life is changing for many people, including our own existence.