Here I am in my favorite coffee shop, a Caribou in downtown Hudson, Ohio, on a very snowy, blustery day. I could be home , snug as a bug in my home library, with my pink fuzzy slippers on and a fire blazing in the fireplace, but some things pulled me here as they often do — One of those things is really a person – my wonderful son Patrick, home from UCLA on Winter break. The other thing is an idea, the idea of solitude and society experienced simultaneously. Lord Byron, one of my “dead friends”, first mentioned solitude and society to me. He said only in letter writing do we have solitude and society simultaneously, but he was only half right. Though it does exist every time I write a letter, I guess Byron never popped into his neighborhood coffee shop to work on his poetry. If he had he would know solitude and society exist in a coffee shop too. Patrick and I share a table, but we are lost in our own work. And there’s more. There’s the possibility of running into friends, and strangers too, chance meetings which can make our day.
A little while ago I experienced one of those meetings. I noticed a fellow at the next table who looked familiar. He was actually sitting with two women, one was a lady I knew, a mother of two of my former piano students. Could this fellow really be one of the handsome male singers in the group Straight No Chaser? No. What are the chances? But I did hear him mention singing, and a little later I heard him mention Indiana and I knew the singer who he looked so much like was truly from Indiana. Well, I couldn’t stand the mystery so I approached him and sure enough, he was who I thought he was. So fun! And because I carry a camera with me at all times, ( you never know when a picture wants to be taken) well, here we are:
Ryan Ahhlwardt, his wife who happened to be my former piano student, my son, and little ole me. What a very nice fellow he was and what a nice conversation we had. Running into these people really made my day. If I stayed home in my fuzzy slippers I’d have had the solitude, but not the society, and society is fun! Here at the coffee shop I have it all – society, solitude, letter writing and of course, coffee.
Have you enjoyed any or all of these pleasures today? Well, it’s not too late. Seize the day and enjoy!