In case you haven’t noticed, the holiday season is upon us once again and with the season comes family visits, table setting shortages and an overall sense of anxiety laced with joy and cheer.  Fireplaces are spewing oak and avocado smoke and the streets are quieting earlier.

In preparation for a fire within my own hearth the other evening I couldn’t help but to stop and stare as if witnessing a train wreck in replay because I had already seen the wreck happen. It was just now sinking in to me. I remember counting the “Notice of Trustee Sale” announcements in 2009 and 2010 and like most of us, became disinterested in the spectacle occurring all around us. After all, the homes and families were of no acquaintance of mine. That was 2009.

Today as I tightly roll my newspaper and stuff the dry ink covered cylinders beneath my firewood I realize that nothing has changed except for our ambivalence to an extraordinary problem. Our lack of concern, lack of empathy, lack of pity for those in that long precession away from home and hearth. They are amassing in groups on unnamed streets in unnamed towns but if you listen closely you can hear their quiet shuffle.

What excuse do we have not to help or support these poor souls? It seems that our only support is for the institutions and stakeholders who have forced this group to grow larger and larger.  Maybe there will be a day when this silent precession will outnumber the very forces that made them extinguish their hearths and porch lights. Maybe there will be a day when we will show contempt for the players in this game of eviction and foreclosure? Shame on them.

Look around, listen. The holidays are upon us and this is the time to lend a hand. Lend a hand to those less fortunate. Ask them to come in from the cold. Ask them to come sit by your fire and to burn the papers.

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