Eyes Open, Heart Guarded

If you open your eyes and are observant, you can often see more than what’s in front of your face.

Last month, I took Big Sis to Fort Wayne for the day. She had her stuff to do, so I took work with me. I was pretty nervous to drive there to spend the day because Big Sis wears hijab full time and we were going to Indiana.

I dropped her off at her destination early in the morning, got gas and then searched for a coffee shop close by to be my office for the day. Foursquare led me to The Firefly Coffee House. I went to their website for a little more information and found a graphic that told me that everyone was welcome there.

The atmosphere was inviting with cozy colors and deep sofas. Knicknacks and random bits of jewelry and handmade clothing were available for purchase, and technology was at a minimum. I settled in at a table with my tea and computer and got to work.

Earbuds in my ears, laptop open and logged on, I set about doing paperwork that had been piling up in the weeks with Big Sis here. A few hours later, the groups of women who were sitting together began to disperse, and one of them stopped at my table.

Hello

(I removed my earbuds)

Hello! (with a smile)

I love your stickers.

And at that moment, I met her eyes and saw the shine of tears.

I wish I had had the courage to hug her, to talk to her more. Because at that moment, the tight knot of panic that had been in my heart, started to release.

I spent six hours in that coffee shop that day, drinking tea and eating lunch. I spent time watching the patrons as they passed my station and those that sat near me while we worked. They at their business, me at mine. Quietly observing one another, and not one person that day said anything hurtful.

The Firefly Coffee House in Fort Wayne, was a safe haven in a city and state that I was afraid to spend time in. I know that Indiana is a red state. The history of their governor speaks for itself, but I have spent quite a few hours, stopping for burgers on my way through Fort Wayne and I’ve heard the talk and have seen the yard signs and bumper stickers.

Earlier this week, I watched this video of a boy and girl. It was shared on my FB feed by a friend who found it on ScaryMommy.com.

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Since watching that video, I’ve been thinking about being present and observant. Seeing what is there, but maybe not right in front of my face. What am I missing?

Unraveling that knot that formed in my heart and locked down my power has been a slow process, but with that one woman, the process began.

How are you?

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