So this morning I said to myself, let’s go to that new coffee house we read about. It replaced a Starbucks that had been there for years. And, it’s not a Starbucks! It’s Sunday, and there won’t be much traffic, so, why not? Let’s shake it up a bit.
In my younger years I would not blink twice before taking off on a long road trip. Often I didn’t even know where I was headed.
Hmmm. Kind of like now, with this embodied enlightenment thing, eh?
But back then, I would drive down an open highway, or take back roads and see where it took me. I was often pleasantly surprised with a unique town, village, diner or cafe. Of course back then roads weren’t nearly as congested.
So I’ve noticed that over the past couple of years I am less inclined to be as adventurous. I notice I’ve carved out a nice little daily ritual that seems to work for me.
I can attribute it to getting older, and not wanting to take as many risks. But then I have to remind myself that I am, along with a few other courageous souls, taking the biggest risk and adventure a human can, giving permission to awaken.
But meanwhile, this morning I decided to move past my resistance and try out the new place. It was disappointing. The build-up was much more enticing. Granted there were picturesque town homes, tree-lined streets sprinkled with restaurants, a bakery, and a couple of boutiques.
It was actually a little too on the nose. I could have sworn that a squirrel climbing a tree was automated. I don’t know about you, but robot squirrels make me uneasy.
I ordered a coffee, which turned out to be medium roast. That’s right. No dark roast available. O.K., this town needs an e***a. And the barista looked like I was keeping her from her nap.
There was no ambiance to speak of. The decor was safari meets 1930s, with large steamer trunks and wood floors. But again, didn’t quite succeed. There was something not quite authentic about it.
You can say what you want about Starbucks, that it’s corporate, but at least for me, it feels like it’s not trying to be something it isn’t.
And, isn’t that where we are headed in this whole transformation process? We are being stripped down, often unceremoniously, to our authentic selves.
But I’m glad I went, in spite of the suspicious squirrel, and the mediocre coffee. It helped me to appreciate my neck of the woods. In spite of saying many times that I like my anonymity, I do appreciate that the baristas in my Starbucks acknowledge me, and always seem happy to see me.
And, as far as I know, none of them has spit in my coffee. I always make it a point to ingratiate myself to my baristas.
And yet, for the most part, except for some chatting it up with other patrons I have gotten to know, I am left to do my writing and coffee sipping alone. Just the way I likes it.
But I think coming to the same place every day does give me a sense of community that is otherwise not available. Especially as I move further and further from any connection with mass consciousness.
So we each have our own rituals that give us a sense of comfort, and we need to honor them. Especially as we navigate what feels like such an unpredictable new energy.
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