Early in the evening, I hear the children sing

From a second story window that overlooks the street

And I feel alive, so alive

I feel alive, so alive

Down under the bridge, the old man thinks

Is this the way that I am supposed to live

Is this life, I'm living right?

Yea is this life, I'm living right?

What's this life all about, anyway?

What's this life all about? I'm searching for answers.

Passing people that I could be,

They're looking right back through me

I wonder why?

And I get such a strange,

Strange feeling from all the possibilities

I might find

I might find

No reason why

The Old Soul


The Old Soul lives on Michigan Avenue. In autumn, you can find him smoking a pipe and enjoying a few sips of coffee in the early evening. As dusk sets in and the rush begins, he talks to the people that are lost and searching, to those going through a transition.

A romantic, he is only five feet, six inches tall, but his presence is immeasurable: it wraps itself around you, encircling and embracing, while lifting your energy, entirely giving. His face is noble, as if he knows what is lost to most, though not overconfident or overbearing as he could be with his understanding -- being himself is enough.

One evening, he told me that you can tell when a person is in love because of the glimmer in their eyes. “Their eyes get just a little bit bigger," he exclaimed. Continuing, "They shine to let the world know that what they hold is special."

Another night, I saw him and he was frantic. Still polite, he said that he needed to stop for a minute because of an urgent interruption. Despite the persistent attack on his senses from the city's traffic and advertisements, something else had become a distraction. His wife had not called. She was to have arrived at the airport, and he had yet to hear from her. Where most would push worry aside thinking that delays happen frequently, he was affected considerably.

No more than thirty-minutes later, he received a reassuring phone call, and once again, his sense of calm -- his world -- was restored. Yet, prior to receiving the safety call, I saw a demonstration of exactly how far the human spirit will go when it is missing that to which it is connected -- the little things that mean everything. It was an honest expression from a genuine person, a true emotion. He had not let society wear off his charm, he had not let categorizations make him unreal, he had not become cold or calloused.

The Old Soul is the kind of person that reminds you what life can, and should be -- the reminders we always need. It's easy to immediately feel comfortable around him, but not because he is trying to put you at ease for his own benefit, not because he wants or expects anything in return.

He believes, and believing is important. Carrying his purpose and encouragement, those he connects with change: the burnt out are inspired, the restless are calm, and the insecure are reassured. They understand that underneath layer after layer of the artificial, is the remarkable. There is no need to wear a mask as a disguise, to pretend, or to run or hold back for fear of being hurt -- no need to continue all of the defenses that keep us from becoming or loving.