It’s the familiarity I love. I glance at the posters on my left, some still promoting events been and gone, and move along to look at the cakes. Waiting in line behind an older couple, I tune-in to their conversation, whilst deciding if anything could tempt me to shun my beloved brownie. The barista plays their satisfying percussion; bang, pull, push, pour. I thank them and take my tray to the back of the café where I can sit at one of the comfortable padded benches. Only now do I hear the song playing behind all the noise and chat. It’s ancient and uninspired, but it sparks a memory and makes me smile. I take a sip of coffee. I sigh. I relax. In a world, a life, so full of change, where nothing and no one can be relied upon it seems, my coffee always tastes the same. Why do I so love that?
I wrote this in response to a writing exercise I was asked to do as part of a course I started recently. Basically, using all five senses, describe your favourite place in about 150 words. Well, I have a long list of favourite places, mostly wild outdoorsy ones, but what came up was…a coffee shop. What?! Excuse me?! I was a bit gutted to be honest, like woah – come on!!! Of all the places in the world, PLEASE Harula not a chain coffee shop! Why? But I tend to trust my instincts. So I wrote it. And as often with writing practice, I found my answer.
All about me the world I love is being turned upside down and on its head and round and round and who knows where it’s going. I’m human. I find that a little scary. I’ve lived long enough to know, intellectually, that life is change, yet some part of me wishes for some things to remain predictable, dependable, the same. Writing this short piece helped me identify and find compassion for that frightened part of me; hug her, hold her, let her have her coffee (and sometimes even a brownie too…) Because she’s got work to do, and if 30 minutes of something familiar provides enough ground, a springboard strong enough to jump off into that deep, wild, unpredictable ocean of the unknown – well, that’s ok.
Where do you find your ground right now?