Transient…

Posted: 28 December 2010 in Faith and Life
Tags: ,

The local paper said that “(t)he woman whose body was found Monday along a highway has been identified…” It went on to say that she “had family in Montana but had been living (here) as a transient for the past few years…”

Living here for several years… a transient.

From the dictionary in our local library: transient n. a person or thing who is transient.

Guess I better check the adjective…

Here we are: adj. not lasting, existing briefly, staying but a short time.

Who knew that our local newspaper was apt to wax so philosophical in its straight news reporting!

Is this what the story really meant to say?  “A human being was found.  A human being who, like all of us, was here but a short time.  A human being, who, in the bigger scheme of things existed only briefly.  Her life was among us but like a breath she came and was gone.”

Sadly, I don’t think so.  What the story meant to say is “Everything is okay.  Go back to what you were doing.  Something dead was found along a highway but don’t worry yourself about it.  It was just a transient.  These kind of things happen to transients–they die along lonely stretches of highway.  They are found and no one can know (or really need to care) about how they lived or how they died.  They might have family somewhere but they checked out of our world some time ago.  You may have seen this one here but she was not us.  Oh, by the way, another transient found this one.  Case closed.  They take care of their own kind.  Don’t they?

Her friends called her “Little Feather”.  Her companion of a dozen years wept and told us that she loved to dance, that she liked puppies, and the colors pink and purple.  He said they slept under bridges and in holes in the ground.  A friend told of how they bantered for weeks after she asked him for money and he refused.  Another told about how she had hid (protected) his backpack then gave it back.

The stories were told as we gathered as a group of transients–in the truest sense of the word–to remember this human person and to release her spirit in the Indian way.  This mother. This daughter. This… transient.

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