I rolled out of bed in my Seattle hotel room around six that Tuesday morning in May.
I got dressed and walked out the hotel doors. Took a left through the courtyard, then a right onto the street. I looked ahead of me to see the red lights from the Pike Place Market sign cutting a break in the grey clouds of the day.
After breakfast that morning, I found myself in a window seat at Street Bean Coffee Roasters. If you’ve never heard of them, like I hadn’t until that day, click here. Basically, they believe in humanity and engagement. And if you have the chance to actually go, get a vanilla latte (I don’t know what they do, but it’s better than any other vanilla latte you’ve had), take a seat, and engage. The owner/manager sat at the inner corner of the bar while I was there, and asked anywho who sat next to them how they were.
When I go to a new city, I love going to coffee shops. They give you the opportunity to see people candidly in their routine.
Another customer came in a few minutes after I did and also ordered a 16-ounce vanilla latte. I’m telling you: they’re better than regular 16-ounce vanilla lattes. Maybe it’s their faith in humanity. (It’s probably just the roast or syrup they use, but I like saying it’s their faith in humanity.)
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I met two people in Seattle that changed my life.
One was a bookstore owner in Pike Place Market.
“I hope all your dreams come true,” David, the cashier, and I assume owner of the bookstore, said to me as I shopped around his store on Tuesday afternoon. At this point in time he knew very little about me. He knew I picked up a Jane Smiley book and I was going back to school for writing.
The next, and most influential, was someone I have wanted to meet since I knew she existed.
On Wednesday morning, I checked out of my hotel, planned my trip to the airport, and headed back down to Pike Place to meet a woman my mom went to high school with in West Virginia. We’re all a lot closer than we all think.
She and I sat at a table near the window at Lowell’s and ordered the same meal. She reminded me how beautiful the world really is. Even in the dark times, there are so many rays of lights. She is one of those rays — and she is bright.
We discussed so many things, but my favorite was how she got there. She tells it much better, but essentially she was supposed to be there and the world/fate/God/whatever you believe in made sure she made it there. She assured me things that are meant to be, will be.
I believe her.