Before the feeling fades. Before you go back to your normal pace (a sprint). Before the world goes back to demanding your time. There is just so much BEAUTY everywhere. My phone was dead so I couldn't take any pictures for you. I'll have to hope I can write well enough to make up for it.
I was sitting in Starbucks, which I hate. I love to support local businesses but my favorite coffee shop closed a few years ago, and the closest local place is on the complete opposite side of town. Anyway, after grading my papers and projects, I pack up my laptop and turn to head out the door. There are two friends next to me who haven't seen each other in months. They've been oooh-ing and aaah-ing over the 2nd friend's new baby since she sat down. Now, they are catching up on life. One is finishing her Master's thesis. The other is excited to have successfully made it through two weeks of welding class with all of her hair, skin, and eyebrows still intact. The baby, the bright-eyed, cubby-cheeked, little guy sits staring contentedly up at his mom and drinking his dinner. He makes tiny sighs of happiness with each little glug he can coax out of the bottle.
Behind us, a kid who might be Justin Bieber's stunt double is getting tutored in Math. I hate Math. But he has an amazing tutor. I recognize her as the math teacher that student taught the same year I did at Cooper. I should say hi, but... Christina? Caitlyn? I know her name starts with a C.... She is explaining formulas I never mastered (never will, either), and Little Bieber is soaking it up! There are some girls from his school a few tables over who keep giggling and sighing in his general direction, and he sits there, gears turning, brain grinding, working through problem after problem. He doesn't complain, he doesn't try to act too cool for school. He sits, he listens, he focuses, he works. I'm impressed. And happy for... Catrina... Catherine... Crystal... I know it starts with a C....
I walk past Biebs and Celia and glance down to avoid bumping the next table. A man in his khakis and blue button up sits reading with his coffee. Everything at his table is perfect. The perfect white cup filled with perfectly black, steaming coffee. His blue shirt that is the exact right shade of blue, like the sky when the sun is starting to set and there's a troubled, stormy sky, a glowing navy. His book, with cream colored pages, a deep forrest green cover that coordinates perfectly with his shirt, a beautiful, thick, black scroll across the pages, he makes eloquent notes in every inch of open space on the page. There is no phone on the table, no computer, just his book and his coffee. The way I wish I was.
At I turn my back to the door to push-and-roll out, arms full of graded papers, there is a college aged kid and another tutor at the bar along the side of the wall. Honestly, there's just something about seeing someone voluntarily seek help to better their education that is just awesome to me. I don't know another word for it. I see so many kids every day that could not care less about the things we are trying to teach, and here is a young man who found a tutor and took time out of his personal life to get smarter.
On my way to the car, there is a hipster/indie little waif of a girl at a table next to some fraternity boys at a table next to a grandmother having coffee with her granddaughter next to a table with a sporty looking guy in running shorts with a dog. Like a child, I'm always put in a good mood when I get to see a dog, especially when it's cute. I like how all of these people are themselves (or at least the self they want us to think they are) all in the same place, at the same time. It's so nice that we can all be here together. At this point, I decide it's good I'm going home. This easy listening music and caffeine has clearly messed me up. I'm getting a little too romantic about this scene.
The drive home is covered with the deep golden rays of a sun getting ready to set. It's probably my favorite time of day, next to sunset and the time right after when the sky is the prettiest shade of blue before it turns black in the late part of night time. A little old lady works in her garden, a couple is out for a jog, the neighbor's cat lounges on a fence, soaking up the last of the day's sun. I can't get over the beauty of it all.
CHELSEA!!!! HER NAME IS CHELSEA!!! dang it!!! nailed it! but a little too late!!!!