Years ago, a chance meeting left me yearning for more.
The first encounter was brief but I have never forgotten it.
Something left an impression on me. What was it?
The voice on the phone perhaps?
The feeling that I had found that perfect match?
You know…when your values are validated.
When someone else thinks the same as you.
And I don’t just mean you both like vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce.
I mean your core values;
the ones that when challenged make you angry,
unable to believe that someone would have a differing opinion.
I had such an encounter — 5 years ago
and have longed ever since to see if my intuition was correct.
Lately my intuition has been strong. In fact, I have been surprised how it is serving me. So you can imagine both my excitement and trepidation when I decided that today I would have my answer.
I’ve imagined it all – the smells, the lighting, the views, the location, the sounds, the ambience, the people milling about.
Could I be expecting too much?
Thankfully, my intuition served me again. In fact, it offered me a full course of overflowing ‘You Were Right!‘ Love when that happens!
Five years ago, I was working on a project to bring bird nesting boxes to schools across the country, working in conjunction with Bird Studies Canada and I wanted to send appropriate gifts to businesses who were donating their services to aid in the project.
Surfing the net, I stumbled upon a place in Toronto that sold ‘certified bird friendly’ coffee.
One call to the owner and I knew I’d found my match.
He owned a coffee shop by the lake that not only sold organic sustainably farmed bird friendly coffee, but all their snack and meal offerings were organic too.
Touted as a neighbourhood hang-out, on the shores of the lake, playground near by, jazz on the weekends – I was hooked.
Buy gifts of coffee for the donors? No-brainer. Done. Check.
…but there had to be more. This could not be a one time encounter.
I had to see this place in person.
Since I don’t live in the neighbourhood, I once sought it out when I thought I was nearby, but to no avail.
Today however, I would be nearby – very nearby – so I plotted and planned to go.
The small building, one side completely covered with a mural of an underwater scene with the undercarriage and feet of a duck gracing the surface, the facade painted cream with garishly red-trimmed windows and mouldings, made it hard to miss.
I entered with anticipation, ready to meet a soul mate.
Large windows filled the shop with light, it’s squeaky door announcing one and all. Two bay windows offered cozy nooks to read or people watch.
An old wooden church pew allowed for plenty of seating with iron and marble tables small enough for intimate chats or a laptop.
The back room with diner-style booths and more cozy chairs in small groupings took advantage of the windows overlooking the playground and lake which although partially frozen now and cold outside, I was tempted to get a ‘to-go’ and stroll the boardwalk.
Instead, I selected a spot on the pew and watched the regulars come and go, some being addressed by name and chatting with the efficient staff.
‘A regular’ sits beside me on the pew – his favourite spot, he shares, telling me why mine is not quite right.
Jazz plays on the stereo. Aromas of freshly ground coffee and healthy soup fill the air.
The wooden planked floor and burlap coffee bags used to cover inventory on the shelves add to the old charm of the place.
Gorgeous photographs of birds hang gallery style on the wall behind me.
Organic coffee in bags for home brewing and 5 kinds of organic chocolate tantalize me. I’m already considering what to buy to relive the experience at home, (or on the way home as in the case of the chocolate).
It is places like this that bring together my value of ecology and ethical farming practices.
The connection of like-minded people, where small things we do on a daily basis to support local initiatives, which in turn support a larger cause and bring awareness to environmental issues, make me feel that there is hope for what I hold dear.
It is a place in the world, albeit a tiny place, where I feel the fight has been won and all is right in the world.
A place where my soul is rejuvenated.
And that, my friend, was not chance, but destiny.
Is there a place in your world where you feel your values are supported?
A place you love to go because somehow it resonates with your soul? Share it below.
Bird-Friendly coffee shop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Birds and Beans
Another of my faves for very similar reasons: CoffeeEco, Kingston, Ontario