There is a bakery near my home. It's a little shop connected to several locations my errands lead me towards many days of the week. I accidentally discovered that by 9:15 am their cookies are coming FRESH out of the oven. It is also the time a large group of elderly men congregate for morning coffee.
Outside of California mornings, I have not seen so many packs of elderly folk gather to walk, get coffee, and just be together. It always makes me smile to see and reminds me of the importance of friendship. I wonder which are alone when they go home; how many have lost their spouses. I wonder how much these gatherings mean to each individual. I wonder how happy those are that return to their wives and speak of the funny story Earl shared about his dog and that crazy squirrel that keeps visiting their yard. I always wish I could pull up a chair and grab a hot chocolate and just listen and laugh with them. To hear about what their lives are like and feel the enjoyment of life emanate from them. Hear their words of wisdom like a treasure. Watch their expressions change with stories about their lives of yesteryear. I love that they are always so happy.
I am normally, however, rushing to get something between a list of errands and trying to juggle kids when I cross their path. The baby sometimes cries to get out of the stroller while Zane tries to play with the scalding hot water near the coffee station or climbs up on the counter bumping into people in line. I envy their lack or schedule, their free hands, their peaceful and calm dispositions. I welcome their warmth as several pause to steal a smile from the baby and remind me with their soft words that these boys grow up too fast and to enjoy them. To take good care of them. That they are special. I like how things seem to stand still while I am in the bakery and life takes the shape for those few moments of something very fleeting, yet wholesome. I liked his post today about how he had the chance as a kid to be part of that circle; it was fun to read this morning.