A Change in Plans


I awoke early this morning with plans to grab coffee and walk across the Locks toward Magnolia as the sun was rising over the Cascades. The air was clear, the sky was clearer and my mind was clearest. The birds sang. The sun shined. I may have even saw Bambi prancing through the grass. All was quiet and still on this May morning.

And then… the coffee shop’s coffee machine was down. Okay… no problem, I thought. I’ll just get a latte. Sure it’s more expensive and I was really just wanting a cup of drip, but okay, a latte will do. I paid and turned around to head towards the Locks, but then I saw that the gate was closed. I walked closer. The Locks were closed. They didn’t open for another 45 minutes. My route was killed. My plan shot down. There was nothing I could do, except decide to walk a different way. Towards the marina, where I always go? Towards Greenlake? North? South? Which direction today?

I started walking west towards the marina with a deep annoyance settling inside of me. I don’t WANT to walk toward the marina because I ALWAYS walks toward the marina and I wanted to do something DIFFERENT on this beautiful, special day. I tried to ignore that voice. Then I took a sip of the latte. Or was it just hot milk? I sure as hell didn’t taste coffee. It became apparent that she had only poured one shot, instead of two. I originally wanted a hot coffee with a splash of milk. There I was, drinking hot milk with a splash of coffee. It was disgusting. The annoyance started to build. With each sip of the wrong drink and with each step in the wrong direction, my bambi moments started to fade. It sucked. My special morning was ruined. It wasn’t how I had imagined it. I was actually so mad. Like, more mad than I really care to admit. Who cries over poured milk? Well, I guess I almost did. I literally stopped at the nearest trash can, which so happens to be next to a park bench overlooking Puget Sound and the amazing lineup of Olympic Mountains, but I didn’t even seem to notice the beauty. Instead I poured out my latte in a fit, tossed it in the trash and continued on my way.

As I started to walk, I forgot more and more about the coffee. Every sip had been a reminder that it was not what I had wanted, yet I had continued to drink it, even though it made me mad. But once I threw it out, once I removed it from my life, there was no longer any reminder that it had sucked. I easily started to forget about it. I let it go. I made it part of my past and no longer allowed it to be a part of my present.

And as I strolled along the water, how could I not have been content? Happy. Who cares if it wasn’t the direction I had been planning on going? This direction was magnificent. Had my route not been rerouted, I would not have seen the baby geese next to the water’s edge. This was the second time I have seen them in a couple of weeks and to my surprise, I found them right where I had seen them last time. I was sad to see that three had become two, but the little babies had grown since I had last seen them. I watched them for some time before continuing on my way.

And had my route not been rerouted, I would not have seen the bald eagle sitting on a branch twenty five feet above my head as I walked the path. A BALD effing EAGLE. Right there. Just sitting there with it’s big old white head and orange feet. I actually thought it was a duck at first. A giant white duck. I first saw the underside of its backside, which was white with orange feet, and it appeared to be a duck. Nope. It wasn’t. That bad boy spread its wings so far wide and flew onto the railroad tracks a few feet away. I think I made him nervous because I was standing and staring at him in awe. It was an amazing moment under the canopy of trees in the early silence of morning. Just me and the eagle.

Had my coffee not sucked and had my route not been rerouted, I would not have walked to one of my favorite coffee shops in the opposite direction of my original route and gotten a yummy delicious cup of drip coffee with a splash of milk and be drinking it at this very moment while my delicious breakfast awaits me.

Things don’t always turn out the way we plan, but they can still turn out pretty damn good if we take the steps to just let go.

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