Living In the Moment

I’m huddled under the outdoor heater at a small table for one.

It’s overcast and 43 degrees, yet my desire to sit on the periphery of human contact propelled me to come sit on this covered patio in the middle of Portland on a cold December day.

This week has been tough; a week of tears and strength. Getting things done for others and still remaining true to my feelings.

The big lesson being one of compassion, both for myself and all of humanity.

A sweet 4 year old is ushered in past me and settles into a large corner table with her parents and their friends.

She saunters by in a one piece red zippered snow suit and for a moment, I am both carried back in time to my childhood, and simultaneously thinking of my adult children at that age.

The next thought is: “Do those suits come in my size?”

I’ve got the prerequisite warm hat, jacket and large green fuzzy wool shawl I leave in the car now, but currently drapes across my lap, and yet, I’m pining for a red one-piece zip up snow solution like the small girl in the corner is wearing.

The lone man at the small black round metal table diagonally from me looks up as the child initiates peekaboo. We make eye contact and smile, sharing that brief, honest connection that happens between strangers when we are in the presence of something precious.

Once again, I recognize that restaurants are a sacred place for me; so much more than the food or surroundings would have you believe. I give myself permission to grieve the loss of so many of them and celebrate every moment that I can have these experiences.

Megan Saint-Marie

December 12, 2020