Wherever You Go, There You Are


Stunning. Fierce and wild. This little creature of poetry and presence sits curled on the back porch of her little, big city. Tucked into a hammock she listens to the heartbeat of her home; cars pass, their rap music blaring, their laughter ringing out. She realizes in that moment that it’s been years since her fingers last hit keys, creating a masterpiece of thought and word for others.

The words pour out, a steady stream of black marks on a blinding, white canvas, “Not long ago I lived and went to school in Hawaii; the land of sun, ocean, volcanoes. My campus was littered with hundreds of young adults from all over the world. Hawaii will always hold a special place in my heart, where my mind and soul flourished in newness. But all seasons must give way to new ones. I remember how nervous I was to move away from my friends, to move away from a place so comfortable. I remember how nervous I was to move in on my own, alone, and to start over with new friendships.

Now I look at my little Lancaster and all I see is love. This is a city jam packed with small businesses and innovators. Here, creativity is welcomed and praised. I work at a coffee shop that was birthed out of that same creativity. Through this place I’ve found all my fears were quickly laid to rest as I began making friends. Late nights and midnight pancakes at the local diner melted away the last of my worries in the slow crawl of maple syrup and cheap coffee.

    Coffee is universal. It’s beautiful and intricate. It cultivates community. From the growing of the beans, to exporting and importing, to roasting, all the way to the cups that warm our hands – coffee influences all areas of the world, from a grand scale right down to to our own little shop. I am proud of my cafe. I am thankful for the education I have been given over the years. I have loved watching it grow and being a part of what it has become. Today it flourishes. As do the relationships who origins were found in the midst; Customers turned best pals, co-workers turned family.

    My mind is a wide expanse of solitude and introspection. My thoughts form in pictures, pushing out the clutter of the world around me. I have an intuitive outlook on humanity; I usually sense based on my feelings. It is a blessing and a curse.  But looking over my life I see how valuable this make up is to the people surrounding me.

    As a barista I interact with hundreds of people every day. In that I learn about myself, discovering areas of accomplishment as well as challenge. I see how I affect those around me; how the way that I carry myself, my facial expression or how I make them feel known has the potential to change their day. I see things like the Amish/Mennonite sects of our community and how they treat our land as a sacred place, seeing their work as an art piece, living so beautifully simple, and I am humbled.

    We must remember to look away for a bit and breathe in the sincerity of that truth: that our life (and our work) is art. We must remember to do things that bring us enjoyment on the daily, things that mean something. We must do things that make us smile; say hello to a stranger or pick up trash off the road. It’s these moments that will carry us through the harder times and make us realize how important little acts of kindness in this world really are.

    Completion. A pause, a moment of satisfaction, and then final murmur bends her to the page one last time, “so, dear soul,” her voice echoing the wisdom of the ages, “whatever you decide to do with your life, remember that there you are.