This morning while it was still dark I groggily made my way to the kitchen. Opened the freezer, shock, no coffee. Open the cabinet, shock again, no coffee filters. Sighs. I decided a trip to the local coffee joint was inevitable. I rushed through my morning routine, making sure I got my java. I walked into the local coffee shop foggy and largely unaware of even what the menu said. I ordered and stood in line for my steamy bean juice. There was a tall slender businessman in his later 60’s in the shop. His slim tie, navy vest and grey trousers spoke of a keen eye for fashion. The kindness in his voice spoke of years of life experience, as he chatted with the barista girls about his breakfast choice. “Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “He seems friendly for this early hour.” Little did I know, this man was about to change my day in 3…2…1…
Ding! His order was up. He slowly walked to the counter, gently picked up his morning brew and breakfast. He seemed to be delaying the inevitable drive to the office. He prolonged his coffee adventure by moving with deliberation, turning towards the cream and sugar counter to touch up his cup. 3…2…1…Ding! My order was up. With a nod of thanks, I quickly moved to swipe my cappucino off the counter and headed towards the cream and sugar counter as well.
The businessman was there. In a casual manner he leaned over to me and said, “Hi young lady! How was your weekend?” Surprised he engaged me, I said, “Great. Busy, as usual.” I thought the dialog would have ended there. Shrugging, he said, “Yeah, mine is always busy. You know sometimes I get tired. I’d like to sell everything and move into a condo on the beach”. Now I was awake! Curious I leaned in and said, “I hear that from people every week. Why don’t you do it?” With laughter in his eyes and a sigh of resignation he chuckled to himself barely loud enough for me to hear. I leaned closer and prodded again. “Why not?” The laughter in response was louder this time, he threw his head back as if I’d told a hilarious joke. Looking down I swirled the sugar into my coffee. Lifting my head, I looked him in the eyes. Gently I asked again, “Why not?” He looked at me with sadness in his eyes, shoulders slumped as if walking with a heavy load, said, “Hmm, young lady you have a good point. I’m afraid, I guess.” I had to make it to my appointment. Time to go. As I spun on my heel to leave I said, “If it’s a condo on the beach you want. You can make it happen, just figure it out.” With a wave and a smile I turned to leave the businessman with his coffee and dreams of a simple beach life.
People say to me, “I’d like to leave everything behind and live a simple life.” Or I’ve heard them say, “I just want to be happy.” For some it’s a condo on the beach or traveling around the world. My heart softened for all the people who are keeping their dreams alive. Who still have the courage to tell a stranger at a coffee shop their dreams. I hope I see that gentleman again someday. When I do, I’ll say, “Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have your beach condo. Go get it!” He gets to walk on the beach wearing a 100 watt smile. This morning that I had no coffee or coffee filters. Perfect. I was supposed to encounter the businessman at the coffee shop. It was a perfect reminder to stay with my dreams. Now with a renewed sense of compassion and wonderment, I start my day. Cappucino in hand, smile on lips, and a pocketful of sunshine. I press on.