We had planned on meeting for weeks, but something always came up and we would cancel. But not this week, we were determined to make this happen. Of course, just as every week prior, everything was going wrong… husbands had to work late, kids were melting down, dinner was overcooking (ok, burning), it was rainy and foggy, and it just seemed appropriate to cancel again. But we didn’t.
Both of us headed out doors, not knowing if the other had left yet, but we were not going to be stopped. We needed this time. We needed to be free of responsibility if only for a few hours and just be grown up little girls. So we met at that coffee shop. We found our seats, gathered our goodies and we talked for hours about the summer and family and drama and kids. Outside the air was misty, and people were milling all about. The line inside was long as it circled around us. We watched the women dressed as if it were the dead of winter (it was 65 degrees after all) and the teen girls in short skirts all of them matching. I am not sure we ever did decide whether they were tennis players or cheerleaders.
We sat at our table with our t-shirts and sneakers. Both of us feeling a little battered and bruised from the day. Behind us sat a gentleman that I swear was taking photos of us. You know how you hold the phone just so? As if you are trying to read something, but really you are snapping a photo of some funny scene? Yeah that. That’s what he was doing. But really he wasn’t. Moments later another gentleman joined him, coffee in hand, and they sat for nearly as long as we did. Both trying to determine the working of the antiquated phone the gentleman held in his hand. They left shortly before we did. We on the other hand decided to close the place down. It was 10:00. Such rebels the two of us.
We still wanted to hold on to our few moments of freedom, squeeze every last second out of them, so we moved outside into the mist and sat on the curb and chatted some more. Yes we really did.
With all our chatting and spying, I mean people watching, our night was a success. We stole away from our lives tucked in neatly at home. We guarded our time. We let our souls breathe, if only for a moment. And it was good. But this wasn’t the highlight of the night. At least not for me. This would come in our final moments of our visit.
My friend she is always camera ready. Ready to capture the moments of this life that are so important, yet so easily missed and forgotten. She snaps them to remember. This night her camera was at home and we were left to my phone. We politely asked the lady jailing the chairs and tables as if they might runaway in the night, to snap a pic. She snapped off a few and we thanked her, but for some reason they all seemed dark with too much contrast. We decided to snap a few selfies trying to fix the contrast, and this is where it happened.
I laughed. We laughed.
My phone was turned the wrong way as I snapped the pictures. Because you know I am an expert in taking selfies. Except I’m not. As I turned my phone and scrolled through those pictures of the night sky. I laughed. We laughed. We stood and snapped more and I was still laughing, but my mind? My mind was resting.
I felt young and carefree. Like the girls in matching skirts, I was young again for a moment. Transported back to our younger days when she and I would take breaks at work, walk to the coffee shop around the corner and get iced mint chocolate chip frappucinos. Back before life had taken hold of us. Back before autism and migraines and celiac disease. Before marriages. Before new life and death. Just for a second I was living in the moment. Fully present.
And there was quiet in the chaos.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
This is day two of 31 one days of finding quiet in the chaos. To read all of the posts in this series click here.