In the midst of uncertain times and difficult events, find beauty. In others. In your surroundings. In moments. In nature.
I spent some time recently with a good friend in Old Town Orange, California. I rode the Metrolink train to Orange and walked a few blocks to the quaint center of town. We started our day with mid-morning muffins at the Blue Frog Bakery. As we sat, enjoying the treats, coffee, and conversation,…
…an agitated woman with a shaved head came in the bakery, and demanded the money in the cash register. When that didn’t happen fast enough for her, she grabbed all the money in the tip bowl. Thankfully, the situation did not escalate.
Next, the stranger went down the row of tables yelling person to person, “You look homeless. Buy a cup of coffee!” She proceeded to give most customers a one-dollar bill, including my friend and I, and stormed on out the door. Many customers put the dollar bill back in the tip jar, but some people kept the money. They may not have known it came from the tip bowl. The police came quickly, just as the woman headed out the front door of the bakery. They intercepted her there, and talked with her. My friend and I passed by the woman on the street two more times that day.
In times gone by, we’d just take moments like that in stride. But now days, no one is taking any chances in situations where there is odd behavior. We live in a needy world. Aggression and violence, even in extreme weather, are more commonplace and more instantly covered by the media, creating heightened awareness. And anxiety. Find beauty to help stay balanced.
After things settled down at the bakery, my friend and I headed around the corner to Country Roads Antiques and Garden. My friend has an eye for antiques. I have a low to no tolerance for antique shopping, but a high value of our friendship, so I go along for the companionship. We did find beauty and I’ll share the photos below.
My friend and I looked for images of interest and collected ideas. I took photos of all sorts of things, capturing the beauty I noticed. We had a wonderful time talking, wandering, and hunting through the random, everyday things. After exploring to our heart’s content, we headed to lunch at The Filling Station to celebrate her birthday.
We soon learned about another tragic shooting in progress, including hostages, at a veteran’s facility in Yountville, California. Our hearts ached on many levels. For the victims, their families, the survivors, the responders, the frequency of these incidences, and the frustration of our inability as a society to protect against these senseless crimes. Even on a fun day out with a friend, we encountered two moments of brokenness. We needed the beauty of the garden visit and of friendship to balance out that day, too.
Here are some photos from our outing. May they bring beauty to your day, too. In spite of the heartache in our world, there is beauty in images and friendships to keep us strong and hopeful. Enjoy the photos! I’m amazed at the beauty created by clever gardeners and designers.
P.S. You may have noticed I did not post last week. Time just got away from me. That happens from time to time, but I did miss meeting you here. Have a good week!
Stay charming, my friends!