I can’t even tell you how long it has been since I have been to one of my favorite places in Nebraska, and no it is not a favorite because of the geography or the specific people there. It’s a favorite for the atmosphere, the sheer number of hours I spent working, thinking, and writing here in my early 20’s (because uttering a phrase like that doesn’t instantly age a person or anything), and yes – for the coffee.
This morning, I got to spend a carefree morning, as much time as I wanted, at my beloved, The Coffee House in Lincoln.
I was so pleased! And also so surprised by how much has changed in the undeterminable amount of time since I was here last. The CoHo has seen numerable shifts in decor, seating, and paint colors (and even front doors) since I first started coming here as a sophomore in college (yes, friends and I would drive in from Crete just to spend evenings here working and studying; then, in grad school, I was also a frequent face but that makes more sense for a UNL student), but something about this morning feels quite different. Gone are the plethora of mismatched chairs and wild displays of local art (although based on hanging wires and hooks, that might still happen on occasion, just not currently), and the back of the coffee bar is exposed in new ways, to me, at least. Yet the same glass mugs (and super delicious mochas), eclectic music in the background, and unique cast of characters filling the tables and line at the counter as well as those behind it, are enough to tell me I am here. I am in one of my sacred spaces.
I get it. It’s a coffee house (So not true. It is THE Coffee House, but I digress). Maybe it shouldn’t be such a big deal; but being here, by myself, on a quiet and drizzle-filled Saturday morning, with nothing but time to think, write, and enjoy my coffee, is an extremely rare gift.
Although I’ve had time away from the home front in the last year, none of that has been terribly chill. In fact, the only time I’ve been away has been for weeks/weekends filled to the brim with trainings. One might think going to a yoga training would be a relaxed, Zen-ed out sort of vacation but those weeks/weekends are always super intense, physically and emotionally, so no. No down time away in a very long time.
But this weekend I am away, for the first time since Mr. Lincoln’s arrival, with Ben, and since he is currently finishing up a morning of meetings at a conference he’s attending before we get to ride off into the sunset of actual, honest-to-goodness adult time sans Littles for the rest of the afternoon and tonight, I have time and space and anywhere in downtown Lincoln I want to walk to spend my morning. Naturally I would come here.
How perfect that one of my favorite places, a place I consider to be part of myself even if I haven’t been here since a child or two ago came into my life, can feel totally different and completely the same. I can’t think of a better analogy for adulthood and parenthood and the growth we are sometimes blessed enough to experience in this life. Like my dear CoHo, I have changed since my last visit. I look different on the outside and some internal changes have been made, too. But at my center, like this place, I’m still me. Same heart, same core. Forever seeking, forever expanding but always striving to be my best, most authentic self. Embracing what is Now. Both forever and never still.
Life in flux. There really is no other way. And with good coffee, quiet spaces, and a little time every now and then to think, all is indeed well.
What about you? What places have become spaces where you can return, sometimes after years, and still find yourself in just the right spot?