international gratitude! (and everything bagels)
i always took bagels for granted. i did.
summers in the hamptons, endless new york bagels.. everything, sesame, plain. chive cream cheese and lox, strawberries and marmalade, onion, garden veggie, and pumpkin cream cheese. so many options. i would walk into the kitchen every morning and smell the scents emanating from that greasy brown bag on the counter, excited to reach my hand in and pull out the prize of the day. which flavor would it be. there were so many. i always secretly crossed my fingers and hoped for an everything with salt. i would toast one half with butter and chive the other one up and then add some lox. pour my steaming coffee and walk onto the deck overlooking the marshy bay. the smells of the hamptons bay, my everything bagel, and coffee. i will never forget.
by 9am i had already made so many choices. I had so many options. and you can never go wrong starting your summer day with an authentic everything bagel.
i haven’t had a bagel for 8 months. and last night at a group happy hour of my eclectic tulum friends, someone mentioned that there was actually a cafe in this tiny tropical town that has bagels. and chive cream cheese. i almost spilled my beer in excitement. ‘what??!!!’ ‘i know right?’.. they responded…
so i thought about that for a bit. i am in this micro caribbean town and its been raining for a month. i cant go to the mall or take river rollerskating. i cant watch TV or go to a movie. I cant choose from 20 different kinds of bagels, and cream cheese. I dont have a toaster. or a car.
But what I do have is so much more. The lessons we learn on our journeys are hidden in these tiny reminders and life perspective testers. Having fewer options makes you more thankful for the ones you have. Forcing ourselves to take a break from choices and luxuries makes us realize what we have and what we love. It is easy for life to get covered up with choices and options.
for now, i have aimed my life in a way that i have the time to walk in the rain. I sit in cafes and meet new people from parts of the world I’ve never heard of, with interesting stories. I spend 5 hours hearing about kayak trips in Vietnam and learning Guatemalan politics and Spanish vocab. i carry groceries home in the rain, busting flip flops, flagging the taxis by. for now i want to feel the rain, the broken flip flop, i want to feel the heavy groceries. and experience real life. not a life overshadowed with conveniences and efficiencies and hustle bustles. when we feel, we know something is real. so i know this is me. and not someone covered up by another life. its so liberating and freeing.
We have a puddle in the street in front of our house that has never dried up since we moved in. It is this eternal puddle. Growing from the rains, collecting litter, splashing me when the buses go by, collecting mosquitos. I walk my daughter to school everyday. i walk barefoot. looking for wifi spots and free refills. i get excited about hot water and having minutes on my mexican cell and avocados bigger than pineapples. i love the sun but i love the rain too. because it keeps things real. i enjoy the rain and embrace it. and i dont wish it to stop or curse it or get annoyed. i enjoy it. its based on the now. the moment. enjoying the rain, the time, and life. gratitude………
there is something to be said for simplicity and happiness.
all the cultures i have worked with have always had ‘less’ but they are happiest. as a creature wanting to understand that phenomenon of smiling nepalese road workers in the himalayas and dirty tibetan children. homeless wandering indians. all the smiling faces on my travels. everyone with less but more. i wanted to see.
and its true. when we arent confronted on a daily basis by overwhelming choices and temptations and options, distractions, and stressors, when we give it all up for a second to discover our human spirit, we have less, but more.
so i am holding off on babel cafe as long as possible. i dont want a really fresh everything bagel to cloud my focus. i am in touch with my grassroots. and i wont let a bagel steal that.