Watching people eating, interacting, working . . . with George Strait singing in the background.
Cars arrive at the drive thru, people place their orders of sugar and/or caffeine then drive away. A constant stream of humanity.
A father negotiates breakfast rules with two young children obviously on their way to church; one child is compliant, the other is not.
The store manager comes out to talk with me, because we have more than just a doughnut/bagel relationship. He talks of his family, his life “by the grace of God,” he says. He once played professional soccer, and plans to coach at some future point, when the time is right.
There is jocularity, laughter, good will. At times I do not understand each and every word the manager says with his Indian accent, but it is all right. We are friends.
I am sixty now, and I ponder the remainder of my life. I want it to count: influencing others, bringing joy to my family, learning how to live meaningfully.
Life slips by . . . days, weeks, months, years. I want to keep my eyes open.
A heavy and heavily tattooed young man sits nearby with a girl who might be his sister or daughter; he belches, then utters a muffled obscenity. And I am reminded of the prejudice I need to surrender.
Humanity is a mixed bag, isn’t it? But what we all share far outweighs our visible differences.
A cool early spring rain is on the way, they say. We all hope it will clear the air of the yellow pollen that has accumulated on all the cars.
Cleansing . . . is what we all need, I suspect.
An older man (like me) I know from the gym just came in. We have acknowledged each other for many weeks; time to exchange names today, perhaps.
The young tattooed man, attached to his iPhone, just asked the young girl with him, “how is your story?” (she is reading a book). She responds, then he chuckles and jovially, supportively says, “pretty good!”
Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all.
Time to go meet my gym friend at his table. “Dave? Nice to meet you. I’m Ivan. Now I’ll know what to call you when I see you at the gym!”
The manager comes out, shakes my hand, then . . . embraces me, and asks if I want more coffee. I decline, then quickly say goodbye to each of the five employees there as I depart.
It occurs to me: of all the beauty apparent in springtime – the flowers, grass, trees . . . none of it comes close to the beauty I see in all these human beings around me, today. Their faces . . . are like flowers in my life.
I will breathe deeply.
Oops! Gotta watch that pollen in the air!