Open a door, turn over a rock, turn left instead of right…making choices based on the opportunities that we create.
I dropped my daughter off at work this morning – at Le Panier Very French Bakery (LP), in the Pike Place Market, where I worked as a young adult many years ago. Time travel. Today, I drove a few car lengths down the cobblestone of Pike Place and parked with ease and luck! The Market was waking up and filling up with vendors and participants of all sorts on this stupendous summer day. I walked back to Le Panier to find my longtime friend, Thierry, who co-owns this fabulous place. He will be leaving in a few days with his family, to go to France for their annual summer sojourn.
He and I were co-workers there three decades ago. And we have been friends that long. His son works there when home from college – this place where my daughter is experiencing her first job. Open a door.
I found Thierry in his office and we had a too-rare visit, filled with inside laughs – casual, comfortable back and forth…built on the stones of time. He was interrupted by a phone call from his brother, in France. Listening to him speak rapidly in his native language, I understood words or an intermittent phrase – but my mind floated into a reflection on how rich my life has been – knowing him and his family. These are friends with whom we have shared glorious food…sitting for hours around a table, allowing our conversations to carry us late into the night…sometimes surrounded by buzzing cicadas under a plane tree in southern France. More often our time is spent together during the many seasons in Seattle. What’s better than rainy, dark nights spent around a table with friends?! We have attended each others life events, been there when our kids were born, shared our grief when we have lost someone…or suffered through an illness. We’ve watched and nurtured our kids with humor and joy into the next chapters of their lives.
Wow! Turn over a rock and you never know what you will find.
We choose our friends – or maybe they choose us. But, we keep them because we need each other. The joy and fulfillment from collaboration is a strong drug. It creates connection…the fiber of being human. Who do I ask? How do I do that? Here, let me help you. It’s that kind of need.
Thierry hung up the phone and we stood and said our good byes. I wished him bon voyage for his upcoming trip “home” to France. It will be different for him this summer, having lost both of his parents this past year. He will be with his wife and kids and they will spend time with extended family, but it is bittersweet…a new chapter for my friend. He is strong, with a good spirit, and sense of humor. He is looking toward more joy in his life while weaving in the stories that he was told and taught by his parents.
He sent me home with a beautiful cafe au lait and a warm pain au chocolat, lifted from a tray in the kitchen at Le Panier. Back in my kitchen twenty minutes later, I dug out my true, cafe au lait bowl..a gift from sister Kristin, when she lived in Montreal many years ago. I poured the coffee into the bowl and gently reheated it. After tossing a few raspberries from our garden on my yogurt, I set a tray with my bounty and went out on our deck to take a moment...make a moment. This moment, sitting on my deck in one of the first warm breezes of summer, was born of family and friends.