Coming and Going

Coming and Going

A Story by hyancynthstofeedthysoul

Things are not always as they seem


A young man sits on a bench enjoying a summer day. He sees an old bum shambling up the street. He wonders if once he had a family and a job. To look at him now you have to doubt if he has any pride left. Reduced to begging for change to get a drink so he can drown his sorrows. Surprisingly an exchange takes place with everyone he accosts. He must have quite a story.

As he approaches the bench the young man steels himself. He will not be taken in. He will put this bum in place.

As the old man reaches the bench he says, "G-d bless you brother" and handing him something shambles on.

The young man looks at his hand. in it a busines card and a gold dollar coin. On the card is a picture of some flowers and a poem.

               Hyacynths to Feed the Soul

                If thou of fortune be bereft,

                And in thy store there be but left,

                Two loaves,

                 Sell one, and with the dole,

                  Buy Hyacynths to feed your soul.

                          -Muslih-uddin Sadi-

Now the young man looks at the departing figure. He sees that although the clothes are old and worn they are clean. The beard though long is neatly combed. Now he recognises the unsteady gait is caused not by drink, but by old age and crippling arthritis. Strange is the transition when seen going away, the old bum has become an old man feeding his soul.



© 2009 hyancynthstofeedthysoul

Author's Note

The old man was me and this occurs daily as I buy hyacynths. Since I started doing this I have more than I ever had. I now have enough to share. I never had that before.

My Review

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This was very impressive. To me this was about seeing past barriers and things you were taught to be true and once you see past them you see how beautiful the world can be. Those moments can be rare but they are worth it. Wonderfully conveyed, this is going into my favorites.

Posted 13 Years Ago

What a lovely heartfelt sentiment this is. Not many people look at both sides of the coin when it comes to our homeless or downfallen. Who knows where our lives will take us?

Posted 14 Years Ago

Nice story Frank, but all of your stories are nice.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 15 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on July 13, 2009
Last Updated on October 27, 2009
Previous Versions



middletown, OH

A long and eventful life I have lived one. While stationed in Germany I visited every country in free Europe and the British Isles. In the U.S. 48 of the 50 only missed Alaska and Hawaii. Have worked .. more..