I have many little vignettes to submit but here is an encounter that happened about two days ago. My apologies in advance as I tend towards brevity in my accounts. Please do feel free to ask questions.
Let's begin at the beginning. I live in Wakefield, Yorkshire and in my spare time I volunteer with a homeless charity for reasons both selfish and altruistic.
About four years ago I met a homeless gentleman who everyone knew as Elephant. He gained this name through a naturally big nose that had become further enlarged due to excessive drinking. That being said he was a kind man who would look after his peers when he could. He was never aggressive or unpleasant although he'd obviously hit hard times. His common greeting to people he knew was a thumbs up and a smile and it became a fixture of life and a bright moment of your day when you received it.
Last November Elephant froze to death sleeping on the streets of Wakefield due to a concatenation of events that I shan't detail here. I certainly wasn't the only one to shed a tear over his passing.
A couple of days ago I'd been on call and was walking back through the city centre. It was a very cold night but clear. As I was approaching the doorway of the abandoned shop where Elephant had died (no, he wasn't remotely in my thoughts at the time). I saw a figure sat there, legs crossed, sleeping bag wrapped around him and the usual bags and whatnot tucked against the wall. As I glanced over he gave me a thumbs up. My eyes were already moving back to the path ahead and I then had a 'flipping heck' moment. Immediately I looked back as my thoughts and recognition of the individual 'caught up'. No one was there. No Elephant, no bags. Nothing. It was Elephant though, I'm sure of that. Body language, location, 'vibe'.
I don't know if this was residual or if Elephant just liked to check in with friends occasionally.