Today I treated myself to lunch at my favorite café in town.
I ordered a small pot of green apple green tea, a sweet ham and turkey panini with marion pickles, and a cup of she-crab soup. I sat near the door and welcomed in the chilly autumnal air that swept across my cheeks with the entrance and exit of customers.
With my cell phone on silent in my purse, I ate my meal slowly, savoring each bite and each moment of quiet reflection as I watched passerbys on the street.
I always save my favorite part of my meal for the last bite; I want to taste the flavors as long as possible. But with this meal, I couldn’t decide what to save, and I felt profoundly grateful to have so many delightful tastes in front of me.
When I finally took the last bite, I picked up my book—which I’ve been trying to finish for weeks—and read as I sipped my tea. The conversations that filled the space between the brick walls of the café drown into the distance. I absorbed the words in front of me, page after page, until I finished both the story and my tea.
Then I rose and allowed the brisk air to once again brush my face as I crossed the street to my car. When I reached the other side, a woman rolled down her passenger window and yelled, “I love your hair!” to me.
I smiled, felling superbly content with my life and myself—the first time I’ve felt so in a long time.