It was a Tuesday morning. I’d just left my writers’ critique group which meets in our local La Quinta Library, thinking about all the SLJ’s I had to do when I got home. i.e. change the bed, do some wash, pay the bills. Given this scenario, I wasn’t exactly of a mind to rush back to the abode.
Plus, I was freezing. The temperature this day in the conference room where we hold our meetings made a meat locker seem like a Florida beach. I had to put on a long sweater and a scarf, a la Nanook of the North, for the duration of our two hour meeting from 10 to 12 pm. Outside, the desert weather was sunny and warm, but pleasantly so, a brief break from the high temperatures late April and early May can bring. This day was the kind that sells desert real estate.
In my cold and bundled up condition, and not feeling particularly chatty, I drove over to Old Town Coffee located near the library. I needed something to warm up. I claimed an outdoor table before going into the shoppe for a cinnamon muffin and a latte – decaf, nonfat, single shot. Around me people wearing shorts, cotton tops, flip-flops and sandals were busy enjoying the food and coffee that make this local establishment popular.
The place smelled like fresh bakery and hot, dark Sumatra. The barista attempted to banter with me, but no luck. I wasn’t feeling chatty. Another customer, a woman, pointed to the black plastic knives and forks hiding in plain sight by the napkin dispenser. I was lured into a brief exchange about trying to juggle a coffee, a muffin in a basket, a purse, utensils, and napkins.
After I sat at my patio table, I realized two things: the air felt balmy, clear, and inviting, and … I needed to shed my scarf and sweater, which I did. I sat in the sun, feeling a slight breeze. A sparrow patrolling the cement, moving in its jerky, halting manner, scavenged for food, its tan, gray, and brownish/black feathers glossy in the light. He came very close to my foot. I found myself studying his techniques.
A female duck strolled near me, also scavenging, making a friendly cheeping sound, not bothered by people. A dove joined the sparrow. I had a regular aviary at my feet. They didn’t seem to mind my scrutiny.
A large brown dog appeared on the patio, leading its owner. The birds I’d been watching literally took a walk. The woman smiled. I found myself chatting with her about her dog’s human qualities, the comfort he gives, and my Great Dane, Davidson, rest his soul, who would have been right at home. The dog exerted an extra hard pull and the woman laughed and moved on.
As the sun warmed my shoulders, I realized I felt quite at peace. The muffin seemed to have become the best I’d tasted in a long time. The latte slipped ever so gently down my throat, also the best I’d tasted in a long time. People were pleasant and thoughtful. Several sighs escaped my lips. The world seemed to be moving slower, feeling less daunting, less mundane.
At some point, I put my head back, allowing the sun to warm my face. I knew two things. I could easily sit here all day, at peace, and just let life happen. Or even, better, I could just fall asleep. There I was … warm, fed, and cocooned in a feeling of well-being.
But. All good things come to an end. I glanced at my watch. I took my time walking to my Jeep to then make the 20 minute drive home. But life was good and, somehow, the SLJ’s didn’t seem like much of a problem at all. I just needed a moment to “reset.”
Of course, life’s problems may be way more daunting than not feeling like doing the necessary chores associated with daily life, as described in the above, and that “boo-hoo, poor me” thing we all get sometimes, whatever the reason. Sometimes it’s way more than that. May is Mental Health Month. Here are some thoughts on mental health as reported on the Skimm .
Thanks for stopping by. Just a little post to remind ourselves to take the time to do a “reset.” It’s a good thing.