It is a rare opportunity when I can sit quietly with nothing to do and no place to go. While I sit playing on my computer in this busy space, I am easily and willingly distracted by the sounds and sights of life.
An employee just showed up which caused immediate tension. The employees who were working so well together are now divided. She is loud and condescending. The objective is to stay out of her focus. When she leaves, they return to a cohesive unit, and the volume reduces to a quiet constant patter.
The friends sitting near discuss their internships. How uncooperative some people are, how easy it is to work with others, and how do you possibly fit the family I during all of this. The variety of the children, how they are dealing with personalities, progress in masters program, and up coming nuptials for the couple. The single one recently went through a difficult break up.
The gentleman in the over stuffed chair napping has difficulty getting out up and walking. The baristas know him by name and refill his water glass several times. They sit and converse with during breaks. There is a three wheeled bike outside I imagine to be his. He doesn’t appear homeless or unkept, but he only talks to the staff so his story remains a mystery.
As does the story of the young man diligently working on his laptop. Earphones on, head down, intense focus on that screen. Is he inadvertently observing as I do or does he tune out the surrounding noise to accomplish amazing feats! He pauses, his phone has beckoned. Grinning ear to ear at the screen, good messages are always a welcome distraction.
Grandparents rush in with the grand kids. I can’t IMAGINE my grandparents paying $5 for a cup of coffee. A young couple meeting with a realtor to purchase their first home. A college student interviewing to work in the industry of his dreams – sounds like video production. The interviewer says, “I’ll try not to yell at you too much.” AHHHHH, a learning opportunity. Friends talking quickly at a table doing a monthly check in, discussing church, children, spouses, life.
The flow of life during one chai tea is an encapsulation – youth, family, independence, striving to achieve, conflict, avoidance, lessons, firsts, opportunities, check ins with friends. Part of me wishes for more moments like this to watch how others handle things. However if I am sitting around observing everyone else’s life what would I miss! Enough observing, time for me to get back to doing.