It’s 4:20, gray, rainy, dark. I stop at Davenport’s, on my way home. My all time favorite local farm market in Stone Ridge. I am immediately comforted whenever I stop here. It could be the lingering smells of flowers, now gone, on this December afternoon. It might be the sugary, sweet cider donuts and coffee that await me on those mornings that I make my way to work early, now rare. It might be the staff, friendly, but not overly so. This is probably, for me a very telling joy. They honor my quiet. I’m not expected to perform, or smile, or make meaningless small talk, but I am welcomed where I am, which this afternoon happens to be relaxed and at ease.
I am late heading home today, awaiting for me is a house full of deadlines and evaluations, and program plans for a degree that I am confident will lead me along the path that I am somehow meant to be on, even if it’s not entirely clear and wouldn’t be easily explained or understood by others. That is, however, the path I travel on. Years of angst and questioning have somehow transformed into the strong foundation of assurance and confidence in the belief that somehow, it’s all falling into place. It all works out. Regrets, I’ve had a few…OK, regrets, at one point held me hostage. I second guessed a great deal of my decisions and choices, rather than honoring that I made decisions carefully and with whatever resources and knowledge I had attained or was presented with. I can look back now, with kindness. This warmth has only just recently cloaked me in a growing calm. And as the cold of a winter that is warned to be harsh approaches, the warmth of my growing calm will be comforting.
I walk into the market, aimed first for the coffee. I am clear out of convenient pods for my one cup on the go coffee maker. I have been taking in a load of coffee lately, with all those deadlines for papers and plans always just due, one moment away from past due. I stop in front of the beans, roasted and glistening in an oily shine. Zanzibar, has alerted me softly, Espresso, has put hair on the chests of anyone within a city block, or maybe since this is part of the Rondout Growers Association, the back 40. Woodstock, well, I fear it’s too mellow, so I steer away from this, and then I see Kick Ass, hand written on a card scrap. I’m not typically one for small talk. And I don’t generally talk to my self, not out loud anyway, it would be nearly impossible to get the constant din of gear shifts and analysis and evaluative feedback and random meaningless thought, unless I apply X2 statistical feedback results from my head and out of my mouth with much chaos…. But seeing that sign and being in my calmly cloaked comfort and needing the coffee….
I stop and step back, admiring the sentiment, the in your face boldness. Just the way I like it, mostly. I say to the sales clerk, busily stocking shelves, or I say out loud and she is within hearing distance after all, “Kick Ass.....everything should be offered this way. It just exudes confidence and assuredness.” She smiles, at first weakly. She is a student in the local school, where I teach. Our paths are not intended to cross after hours. But then she tilts her long, silky haired head askance and considers it. She adds “Maybe adding classy as a choice for the older set. Classy and Kick Ass would meet the needs of everyone.” We both go about our business, I shopping, she checking out another customer. As I turn down the narrow aisle to the checkout table, she is heading back towards the shelves.
I did say earlier that I had recently acquired a growing calm, right? Only my legs have not yet been informed, my gait continues at its typical fast and furious speed. In a place the size of 4, maybe 5 office cubicles, this speed can create tornado winds, and the heaviness of my heels hitting the cement floors, deafening. Miss Honey Sweety-pants, with long shimmering hair, skin moist with the dewy wetness of the promise of a life full of purpose and constant joy and wonder responds to my determined march. She feigns being blown back a foot, at 5 foot 8 inches and 82 pounds, she may not have feigned a thing, really. She says lightly, now that we are fast and furious friends I suppose, “You might want to slow that down. You’ll take someone out with that walk.” And something happens. Or more remarkably, nothing happens.
I remain calm and I can still feel a smile throughout. She was right. And who knows I might have stirred up her willfulness with all that Kick Ass coffee grinding. I enjoyed her gentle moxy. I check out, and pause, but don’t have anywhere to go with it except home to make coffee and continue on my path toward purpose and constant joy, and oh, so much wonder….No harrumphs, no snarky come backs, no offended feelings, simply truth. But there are some places that could use my tornado like force, aren’t there? Sometimes? Maybe, perhaps, if Kick Ass and Classy came together, there would be me? I can dream....