I think I can say that I now officially find myself at the Sunflower Baking Company every two weeks. A sinfully delicious bakery on the corner of Pecan and 7th. By now I am a familiar face, welcomed with a warm smile from one of the counter folks, the one that says, “Great to see you again..what is it that you always order?” I tend to arrive around the breakfast hour as to not miss the croissants for they go as quickly as they are baked. This particular day I was late and was greeted by the lunch crowd. Every table occupied by the masses and filled with lunch meetings, family meetings, play date lunch breaks…they were all there. I waited on line to decide what I was going to get since my croissants were long gone. As I was mourning the loss of the flaky goodness a woman in front of me said, “Please go ahead of me I still can’t decide”. Since I was just as undecided as she I said, “I am really not sure either so no worries.” My intuition was saying, here is another great “Tea with Mi” opportunity.
I leaned over to her side and asked,” What are you going to have?” She giggled a bit and said, “I don’t know, what are you going to have?” I mentioned my devotion to the croissant and was left perplexed for there weren’t any, so that meant I had to try something else. She said, “I have been here almost every day this week and still haven’t tried one”. I proceeded to explain how she should really try them but she couldn’t go wrong with anything they offered. We continued to talk as we both decided what we were ordering. I asked her if she lived near by. “No” she replied, “I am here to check Charlotte out. I am originally from DC, moved to Columbia, SC and now think Charlotte may be the next move.” As I was paying for my tea, she said, “I would love to continue to chat. I can sit with you a bit until my coffee is done, I can’t stay long my dog is in the car.” I told her I would love to. I had to make this a little more personal so I said, “I’m Amy by the way”. “Connie” she replied, while extending her hand.
We talked about her need to find a more urban environment for her kids, that her current community was not enough. How coming from a city like DC to the south had been difficult. All heartfelt reminders for me, and my journey thus far. It was nice to be on the other end, offering solace and hope to another in need. I felt compelled to say, “Connie nothing is random, we ran into each other today for a reason, this opportunity to make a connection and to shed some light on what maybe a dark time for you right now. This encounter, though brief has opened that door for you to see that a new adventure awaits you and your family here. Be on the lookout for more signs of what to do next”.
“You have no idea, how much of what you are saying is resonating with me, I am so happy to have met you”, she replied. I handed her my card and asked her to call me anytime. Then I remembered that time was getting away from us, “Connie your dog!”
“I know,” she said as she grabbed her bag, “I wish I could continue this conversation, but I have to go….I will contact you”, and with that, she ran out the door.
Hope can be given to anyone who is willing to receive it. Although these encounters of mine are sometimes brief, they are filled with an equal exchange of creating a connection. When we become bogged down by our own thoughts and dealings with life we find it hard to find that silver lining. We need to be reminded that we don’t have to look so far for it. Be open to the opportunity that a stranger can leave us with that pearl of wisdom we are need at that very moment or a smile to say it’s all going to be okay. While you wait for your next coffee to be brewed or on a long line somewhere, share a laugh, a remark about the moment, you never know what hope and light you can give to another or what they can give to you.