I was bummed yesterday when I headed out for morning coffee in Columbus only to find that my favorite shop on the corner by the hotel was gone, the space empty and the lease adverts in the window. Today, I walked out into light snow showers hoping to find a new place. The cold air was filled with small flakes that melted instantly on my skin, and everything about the atmosphere felt clean, bracing, new. I needed that air, nature kissing and slapping my face, winter zapping my tired cells and forcing a rush of my own warm blood to the surface. I felt tired down in the middle of my bones after a few days of hotfooting it through an obstacle course of emotion.
I’ve had call in the last forty-eight to be ferociously proud of friends’ and colleagues’ accomplishments. I mean, so proud, of a list of triumphs that would look long if it took up weeks instead of days, a list that makes me sit back and marvel at my colleagues and friends and what they create together. Monumental accomplishments that are the result of amazing teamwork and small private ones that are as well, and that are also actually huge.
I’ve also had reason to be profoundly discouraged and saddened by a few conversations, stories in which people are unwilling or unable to help each other. As I stepped into the slushy street this morning, I was pondering how to write about this: about how we can so easily foster this inability through fear or greed or laziness, and about how we can change it. But I was not confident that I could find the right words to do that. Now, after a good cup of coffee, I’m still not.
Yeah, about that coffee. When I crossed the street and stepped up on the opposite curb, I took off my glasses to wipe away a thousand tiny melted snowflakes. And when I put them back on, right in front of me I saw the sidewalk placard announcing the new location of my coffee shop, as did the painted signs in the windows.
There it was, in its new space across the street from the old one. If I would have lifted my gaze yesterday, I would have seen it.