How precious is the kindness and gentleness that surrounds me every day. I treasure it. It is part of a sub-culture hard to find in many places. I think that’s why I head here every morning. I can’t imagine a better place to start the day.
It is expressed in the generosity of people who readily invite others to sit at their table, when the place is full, or donate a ten or a twenty in case someone comes along who can’t afford a coffee or a breakfast. And there isn’t a split second of wondering whether that donation will go where it’s supposed to.
Someone recently took a fiver out of the tip jar though, and everyone assumed the thief must have really needed it. No one got upset.
For about two weeks, a woman shuffled in when the doors opened every day. obviously exhausted, obviously without a home, she’d have a coffee, sip it awhile, then nod off for the morning. The group of men who sat a few tables from her, spoke in lowered voices the whole time, patiently. If there were such a thing, I’d give them the “Lovable Guys” award. The scenario is typical here.
Over the years, people of perhaps a less compassionate spirit have gradually emigrated to the newer cafes opening up as the neighbourhood gentrifies. They contribute their attitude to different café cultures down the street, while making room here for these warm creatures. For me, it is fascinating how even the choice of a café is an expression of who we are, in much the same way as we choose our clothing each day.
It is also often an expression of our needs. And I, in my two months of grieving three lost friends, express and fulfill my own need for the comfort I find here. They naturally overlook the shadows under my eyes, as I heal.