While driving to and from vacation we saw hundreds of bumper stickers and window decals. It really is amazing what people are so passionate about that they feel moved to buy and then affix their “cause” to the back side of their vehicle. There were; sports teams, musical groups and universities logos galore, mouse ears on people and cats and dogs, clothing labels, skiing & surfing logos, actually decals of a dad, mom, two boys, two girls, three cats and one dog or some version of that combination. Military insignia, soccer jersey numbers, “in memory of” decals, eat here or there, visit here or there and yes, this trip we started to notice political names for the up coming presidential election as well. There were the old standards; my kid is smarter than your kid, ask me about my grandchildren, I “heart” Dalmatians, I brake for lattes, I would rather be….. shopping, golfing, biking… and the always present WWJD.
Out of all of those topics (of which we covered several in deep discussions) Mr. Right said, “WWJD? He would be shaking his head in disappointment”. The name calling and pointing of fingers has reached a new level of ugliness. The scandals, murders, stealing, shootings are taking much too much time filling up the nightly news reports. Treating our fellow-man with respect and politeness has fallen out of favor. Keeping our opinions (however misguided) to ourselves are becoming less and less in fashion. Treating others with disrespect & ugliness is becoming more and more acceptable. Our society seems to need a gentle nudge in the direction of kindness.
Outside of a new (to us) found business in Manzanita, Oregon called Bread and Ocean, sat two very intense beautiful black Labrador Retrievers. Their leashes were just looped around the leg of a picnic table. Their companion was a large, patient, Basset Hound. All three dogs were getting along and waiting, never taking their eyes off of the door to the bakery/cafe. As we stepped inside, adjusted to the lighting and were met with the heavenly aroma of pure goodness. The smells of breads and pastries and salads and freshly brewed coffee. The eight tables with chairs were wooden and mostly full. We stepped up to the counter to say hello and place our order. We chose wisely. Mr. Right chose a perfectly made croissant with a thin line of dark chocolate hidden inside the flakey folds of airy pastry and coffee. I chose a Walnut Fig Tartine with a Cappucinno. Oh my, my, my…………I can still taste the creamy goat cheese and the little half a glazed fig of pure delight. By evidence of the signs and labels, the ingredients that they used were thoughtfully sourced and they were very proud and happy to be offering the best and highest level of food they could bake as well as make.
A sense of belonging and quiet calm was hanging in the air. No judgement, no meanness just a place to take off your hat and coat and sit for a time and rest in peace and enjoy a meal prepared with goodness in mind.
As I turned to find a place to “make camp” while waiting for our well thought out selections, I sat down at a table near the window. Then I took in the patrons: there was a single woman in her twenties with a small 5-year-old boy eating brunch, a couple of gals (later found out they had been together for 32 years) sitting, forks down while listening, another couple, standing, were giving them driving suggestions for a glorious tourist drive & a young married couple with a toddler who looked over the moon happy every time the toddler said please they gave him another morsel of goodness from their plates. Conservative Mr. Right & I sat among them. There were also two bakers behind the counter (with dreadlocks and a variety of tattoos), working hard and bustling, yet chatting happily to one another. The person that served us was very friendly and cheerful.
The time spent in that cafe was a little sliver of heaven. Sure we were all different, very different. We all had different stories and had gotten to that place in time in a variety of ways. Our cars in the parking lot with the different logos on the back of each were as different as night and day.
WWJD? He would have come in for some rest and a wonderful brunch among really good solid people breaking bread together. He would have been pleased to see that such a varied group of people could be brought together in a place offering bread and coffee.
… you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. ~ leviticus 19:18