Saturday morning of my Florida pilgrimage began in the usual way; taking my morning walk and praying for God to bless me and the people in my path. Starting with this intention fills me with curiosity about who I will encounter along the way. While most of the day would be spent with my cousin, the early hours would be alone at Coquina Beach. After my walk in the quiet along the shore, I was ready for breakfast, and most especially, ready for coffee.
Wandering around the area of Bridge Street, I found a restaurant at the City Pier. I was delighted that my table had a great view of Sarasota Bay and the boats docked at the nearby marina. There were few other patrons and it would be perfect for a quiet meal and place to write.
My omelet was tasty with its spinach, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes. How nice to eat a leisurely breakfast—made by someone else. I watched as folks prepared to sail their vessels and others fished from the dock. After a while, I pulled out my pen and paper to write my journal notes for the previous day. If I don’t get things down on the page, I will soon forget. When I look back at journals from previous pilgrimages, I’m always surprised and delighted by the little details I’ve written down that I’d forgotten, the things that make me feel I’m back in that place. Sometimes it’s hard to stop and write but it’s a necessary discipline.
My waitress refilled my coffee.
“Thanks so much. If you get a rush of customers, I’ll be on my way,” I told her. “This is a great place to write.”
“What do you write?” she asked.
I explained how I’m working on journal notes for my pilgrimage and mentioned that I have a blog.
“Do you like to write?” I asked her, knowing that many who are curious either write or want to.
“No, couldn’t do that,” she responded. “I paint.”
“And what do you paint?”
“Mostly landscapes and birds. I sell them in a gallery down the street.”
We talked about the enjoyment of creating, how absorbed we become when working on our craft, and how bothersome the business side could be—especially in our current state of ‘personal branding.’ She checked to be sure she wasn’t neglecting her other customers, looking about the room at her tables. I didn’t want to keep her, but I enjoyed talking to this fellow creative.
“I finally gave in and learned how to do Twitter—something I never thought I’d do,” I confessed to her. “I’d much rather just write.”
“Well, I’m not as far along as you,” she said, then added, “I just don’t know when I’ll have time to do that.”
“You’re young. You have plenty of time,” I told her, not quite sure of her age– maybe in her thirties. Thinking of my recent birthday, turning sixty-three, I felt the press of time, not as many years ahead to accomplish the things I’d like.
We exchanged business cards and promised to follow each other’s work, artist supporting artist.
Sharing your passion dissolves differences, I thought. It doesn’t matter what age you are when you speak the same language.
When I finished at the restaurant, I walked down the street to the Cove Gallery and Boutique. I found her paintings and purchased one of a solitary gull. The painting would always remind me of this person in my path and the conversation about our artistic passions, encouragement for the journey.
How About You?
What intention/s do you set as you start your day?
What experiences have you had with people in your path?