D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

21.

(I know I am missing some days, I’m sorry! Life just comes at you fast sometimes).

I went to a bakery today to do some writing. I always feel awkward in restaurants that aren’t in my neighborhood. I am afraid of sticking out, and I am also afraid of being too comfortable in gentrified spaces. But this place was lovely, I found a tiny little stool and bench table right in the window, right in the sunshine. The waitress bustled around and tried to make me feel comfortable. She recommended the pineapple coffee cake and a cup of coffee, so I got it. She added a dollop of whipped cream so beautiful I wanted to cry. I felt very taken care of, my coffee cup never empty.

As I was leaving and paying my bill she asked me what I was writing. I didn’t know what to say. I was writing an essay about how I can’t speak in tongues but have spent my entire life wanting to—not exactly the kind of essay I imagine anyone wanting to read or to understand. Instead I told her that I normally write for publications and editors and readers but today I wrote an essay just for me. She smiled at me in a rather blank sort of way, like she was trying to understand. She told me to come back on Thursdays, because that’s when they have house made cheesecake.

I went out into the spring air and my favorite trees are bursting forth—Jane Magnolia trees. I wrote something just for myself that took 16 years to mature, 16 years of thinking about and coming to a realization that makes me just the tiniest bit more in awe of God and how God works in the world. Maybe it was the three cups of coffee, maybe it was the pleasure of writing down the truth. Or maybe it was just spring. Who knows, but today I received it for the gift that it is.

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