If perfection is a day, it was yesterday, aka #MLKday. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but all seemed extraordinary because they were so ordinary.
Most of the day? Just lots of writing and reading - along the lines of justice & inspired by the life of MLK.
The magic began around 4pm with a surprising text from a beloved friend. A drive at 7pm to Downtown Mountain View (don't remember the last time I've been) to see my friend perform at an open mic at a cute little cafe. We landed in Downtown MW, pleasantly reminiscent of Pasadena and Fullerton, waking my homesickness for Los Angeles, but excited for the adventures to come. I walked the sweetly lit streets, with half hungry status, passed the first option of Mexican food, and discovered a sweet Mediterranean spot. All three pairs of eyeballs stopped, mouths moved in unison, then we walked in. My heart screamed with joy. To my delight, I reunited with my favorite plate of chicken and lamb shwarma. My plate took a lot longer than other two, like more than usual, and I commanded my heart to be patient - it's not a big deal, they are working hard. The wait was worth it, my gone-appetite miraculously returned the moment my mouth met the chewy texture of lamb. Yummm. During our meal, we mutually agreed our remaining space for gelato dessert. Then into a cafe well into the session. My friend up next, she got on the mic with her guitar. The moment her mouth opened, the room grew silent, eyes fixated, and ears alert. The beauty that happens when one shares her story in her self-written melodies and words that seemed so personal, but all of the sudden, becomes the replica of everyone else's. A reminder that truly you are not alone and that we are so much more common than we think.
The mama/cheerleader/artist/fan/singer in me shouted cheers for my beloved songwriter-musician friend, for her bold step, for her internal "yes!" that momentarily shifted out minds away from the troubles of the present into her quirky, deep, creative waves. Then up the stairs, with backs strapped with backpacks with work to be done and problems to be solved, in hopes to find a perfect spot for three of us. To put behind the excitement and adjust ourselves into the reality and work. Instead we saw pretty red walls with colorful paintings - and whole lot of laptops and robotic hands and silent faces. No space? No worries. Let's just grab that gelato and go back to our home into a cafe of familiar sights and faces. But before that, let's not forget our gelatos!
The sweet toothed children in us ran ahead of us - as we strolled down the streets of DTMV. We entered the small, vintage shop of gelato goodness. Our eyes and noses overwhelmed with Lychee, Honey Lavender, Pistachio, Ginger, and other wonderful choices. After many samples, the verdict was made, and we walked away happily with our now sticky fingers and sweet palettes. But the DTMV adventure was not yet over.
The guitar came out into the open air once again, this time in the hour chilly enough to button up our jackets, but warm enough to keep company outdoors. The melodies exploded, voices joined and harmonies created. I really wanted to that spoken word of mine earlier... but hey now I'm singing! What a joy, what a blessing! The ways that our little desires express through pleasant, unexpected surprises. Most walked by, some stared, one sang along. But regardless of whose eyes watches and whose ears heard, our hearts were happy because we were ourselves in the moment. Out of our boxes - as free songbirds singing the tunes of our hearts. We sang "This Little Light of Mine" walking towards the parking lot - and joyfully entered into our ride. Then back to Cupertino, a town located in Silicon Valley, originally called the Valley of Heart's Delight.
We sang our way into the cafe my friend works at. Heard great things, but my first time! Finally. I stepped in, and though a new space, a familiar feeling swept over. A friend of mine welcomed us at the register and kindly guided me and my company to the most perfect drinks for the hour. And score! Despite the crowd, landed a table for five, enough for three to work spaciously and freely. As I half-ran to claim the spot, two familiar faces! Hellos and Hugs! We then sat, sipped, and got situated. Then more reunions with old high school friends! More laughter and conversations! The laptop never opened, but hey, relationships over work, right?! My "work" was writing about relationships anyways. Oh the irony. Then another "It's been awhile!" encounter with an opportunity to encourage - and be encourage by - another fellow artist/creative friend and sister. I returned to the table, my heart full and happy. The hour turned into a piece of paper with bunch of personal questions, for the sake of "getting to know another better." A friend writing a sermon at the cafe shared the information with us - and our table said in unison, why not?
The thirty-six question marks narrowed the four years my partner and I were apart. I already saw the changes in her - and these lines gave me the opportunity to share - and go even deeper. And we did, for what seemed like almost an hour - or even more. We finished the conversation - not just encouraged, but alive, vibrant, and exuding light and life. The power of what words can do in a single moment, between people who haven't seen each other for years, for acquaintances who only know faces and not hearts... the power of words, my friends, is real and powerful.
Oh, and did I mention? Our friend who worked the shift during the time "on the house"d us with two affogatos, adding sweetness to my palette presently salivating with life and encouragement. The heart exchanges ceased right around time cups were turned in, the register closed, and people left. We looked up and the saw the world around us get ready to migrate to another place. I shot few snaps in the last hour for memory sake - realizing the precious hours that are coming to pass - to also realize I haven't documented throughout the day to showtheworldhowawesomemylifeis - which we get caught up doing more often than we know that we forget to enjoy the moment fully in the essence of what it can bring in the now, not later. And instead, I did just the opposite - be full present in the moment and enjoy the heck out it!
We let too many small, precious moments pass by without recognizing how they count towards sustained joy and contentment in our lives. To me, the planned moments, the surprises, and even possibly disappointing situations were all a gift from God. He knows me personally, the small to big ways my heart stirs and laughs - and everything in between. I felt the orchestrating hands of the Father delighting over his daughter as he filled her with Love. Through things as small as a meal, a cup of gelato, singing songs in the street, free affogato, unexpected encounters, generosity and kindness, deep heart conversations...
These words and experiences are temporary and will fade with time. What I cling onto during these moments is the Father's personal and intentional touch over the ordinary, often overlooked, treasures of everyday life. Life isn't perfect, but these small gifts keep me going. When I see the supernatural hand over ordinary things, how can I not exclaim that it's instead extraordinary?
Days like this deserve a hashtag. How about #dailymiracles? It's just the matter of perspective. Of choosing to see the supernatural work over our seemingly mundane, routine lives. Keep your heart open wide with unceasing wonder and thankfulness - and you will see miracles unfold over the ordinary.