Somebody told me – If you are going through a difficult phase in your life, Remember that you’re not alone. Nobody has it easy. Some days can feel like a burden Like there’s no way out. Sadness, tears, anger, frustration. Like life is unfair for no reason at all.
Then she told me to give it time. It’s also about giving things time, To run their course. For them to pass. So you can heal. Everything eventually gets better. It always does and you know that it’s true.
This isn’t the first time, You were expected to face a challenging circumstance. This isn’t the first time you had to brave. You have done this before, Then why the uncertainty now. Like all the other times, this will pass too. Wait for the morning For the sun to shine with new rays of hope. And just like that, Your day will seem a whole lot better than yesterday. She said with a smile.
It’s eight o’clock in the morning and I get a notification that my order is ready for pick up. I’m already here, wearing a lavender-colored floral dress and an extra smile as I stand outside admiring my favorite place. I take a deep breath, push open the heavy oak doors, and re-enter The Willowvilla. The familiar aroma of freshly brewed tea and baked food makes me feel like I’m home once again.
I used to be a regular here but it has been almost a year since I visited this place, my place! I still remember the day on which I accidentally found Willowvilla eight years ago. I was feeling low and was walking around aimlessly without really thinking about where I was headed when I found a passage into a secret garden. I hadn’t noticed the hidden driveway before or the garden beside it. I was hesitant to enter at first but I decided to go in anyway.
I could hear busy murmurs at a distance, the pace of my steps increased. I curiously walked towards the noise and from behind the trees emerged this inconspicuous cafe. I don’t know what had gotten into me, I have never since been so brave — I walked straight in without thinking. Quite irregular for one as introverted as me.
I was immediately struck by its warmth and coziness; it felt almost magical. The enticing aroma of tea leaves, coffee beans, bread, and butter dragged me in. The wooden benches, wooden tables, and couches in the middle of the room encouraged open seating. Families shared benches with strangers in perfect harmony. Couples continued their love-smitten small talk without fear of eavesdroppers as another group of friends cackled loudly beside them.
I was so fascinated by this place that I ended up spending most of my free time at the cafe. For some, Willowvilla might be just another cafe, but to me, it felt like I had discovered a strangely unique place. The thing is I like blending in without attracting too much attention to myself and this homely place seemed perfect to me. I completed college assignments while munching on blueberry scones, read books late in the evening by the window, and worked on office presentations while drinking espresso shots to keep myself awake. I even made new friends here, it always started with a smile and the conversations just seemed to flow. It was easy to find like-minded people here.
Suddenly, my reverie breaks, and I find myself standing in front of a girl. Her eyes are smiling at me but this time everything feels different. She is wearing a mask and there’s a glass partition between us. I look around and my Willovilla looks rather dull and devoid of life. My heart drops and I feel as empty as the place. I quickly come back to my senses and say,
“I have an order for pick-up, my name’s Nina.”
“Sure, let me grab that for you. I will be right back!”, she replied.
Everything has changed, there are no benches, no couches, and no bar stools. This time, right at the front are sanitizers, brown paper bags, and take away orders which occupy most of the space. Posters on the walls read, “COVID-19 Safety measures: Please wear a mask for your safety and ours!”
There are only a handful of people in the cafe who are jumping between serving customers and preparing orders. The bakers are busily working in the kitchen wearing masks and gloves. I watch them work while waiting and a realization suddenly dawns upon me. They do not appear sad or overworked. In fact, they look like they are enjoying themselves, despite the added safety precautions. There are in-jokes between the bakers and the serving staff. My smile slowly returns. Yes, the place looks different but the hint of magic remains in the air.
We’re all trying to hold on to those good times even if things don’t feel the same anymore. So what, if I cannot spend time in the cafe I am grateful and relieved that it reopened after almost a year and did not shut down permanently. This time when I look around, I notice that the place is trying its best to still look inviting and beautiful. The space is filled with flower baskets and goodie bags. The bakers continue to dole out hand-crafted pastries and scrumptious cookies that look nothing less than pieces of art.
I walk out of Willowvilla with my parcel in hand feeling warm and fuzzy. In the end, it’s all about evoking emotions that help in building connections. This pandemic has taught me to support one another, to build a sense of community, to hold on, and to be patient. Things may or may not go back to how they were but together we can always make it better. I guess that’s how life is supposed to go.
Some days, the passion to create is so strong, That everything around seems like a flash of inspiration. From the morning cup of tea, Sunshine on the feet, Crumpled sheets, A smiling person on the streets, An empty blank sheet.
If you have to get obsessed, then obsess over, reading books without any breaks walking for hours without knowing where you’re going watching the stars and wondering how it would be like to be in space playing with animals and taking care obsess over loving yourself every single day.
I am just sad, a sad lad. My eyelids feel heavy, brain is foggy. I’m in that state where I can think of a hundred things and make myself sad. Like, ah the weather is so beautiful but I can’t go travelling. I want to go for a run but I’m feeling lazy and my legs are tired. I feel dirty, I need to shower but it’s too cold to get wet. I wish my friends lived next door. I wish people could understand my deep inner emotions. Stuff like that you know, but who wants to go down that lane.
What can I do instead?
Make a sandwich? Done. Drink a cup of hot coffee? Done. Watch a crazy TV show? Done. Wash my laundry? Done, I just need to remove them from the dryer. Read a book? Done. Play video games? Done.
I guess this is another problem, I’m too good, I’m too cool, I’m also a fool.
Okay, I think I am feeling better now!. Time to go and throw out the trash. Trash all the sadness and negativity that’s pulling me down.
That was easy, all I had to do was dwell on those feelings, write them down, shout them out, and understand what’s wrong. Now that I’ve given those emotions some attention I feel I am ready to take on the world. But hey, I am just a lad, not a sad one anymore, a normal lad.
These are not the best times, days can feel cold and lonely, but please know that you are not alone. Today is Valentine’s Day so let us embrace the precious things around. Look outside the window and see if anything brings a smile, a funny-shaped cloud in the sky, a cute lil pup, snow on the ground, a tree that is always around, a friendly familiar face, or bright sunny skies.
If not, light a candle, make yourself a hot cup of coffee, watch a movie that you like, and turn on some fairy lights. Let us not clutter the mind with too many thoughts and be thankful and grateful for the things around. Go out for a walk or spend a few calm moments with yourself, enjoying some deep breaths.
Including this video of Yoga with Adriene to make your day awesome! Like Adriene always says, breathe lots of love in and breathe lots of love out. Life is all about loving yourself and being kind. ❤