Do the most amazing things happen when you least expect it?

14 Jul

A recent morning presented itself as a typical day in Central California: blindingly bright and beautiful.  I awoke with all intentions of driving on the 46, westbound, to the famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon.  However, something kept me from crawling out of my comfortable goose down haven to shower and get dressed.  Part of the indecision was understandable; I imagined inching up the 5 mile incline to the main castle on a Greyhound bus with 50 members of the Red Hat Society.  After leaving some rubber behind on the 101 in my freedom machine, I couldn’t imagine a less compelling way to spend my last day in Paso.  Apart from this obvious emotion, there was something else pulling me in another direction and I wasn’t sure why.  All I wanted at that moment was to locate a quaint, privately owned coffee shop where I could sink into my utopia.

Amsterdam Coffee Shop: downtown Paso Robles

Amsterdam Coffee Shop: downtown Paso Robles

I packed my car and this is where I landed: Amsterdam Coffee House.  I found the atmosphere to be exactly what my soul needed: peace and relaxation.  I found my way to the only open bistro table lining the sidewalk, preparing myself for another blogging opportunity.  Little did I know that my path, not so random as I had previously thought, was about to collide with a total stranger.

As I sipped my cafe Americano I couldn’t help but notice a gentleman leaving the coffee shop, bound for a 1950’s model Mercedes.  It was somewhat rustic, suffering from a few years of neglect but recently finding solace in its new owner’s garage.  As you have recently learned, my love of cars far surpasses that of the average female.  I felt compelled to tell this person that I appreciated his antique beauty, yet at the same time I thought most likely it was an expression he had heard a million times.  I only had mere seconds to respond in one form or another, so I decided to wave and offer my admiration for his weathered metal machine.  He, let’s call him Joe, responded with the typical thank you and a conversation ensued.

I do not feel comfortable sharing the conversation that followed our ‘random’ meeting, but I will tell you that I felt as if Joe had been sent to ease certain fears and concerns that have plagued me over the past months.  I sat in that multi-colored wrought iron bistro chair, in the growing mid-morning heat, feeling as if every answer I had been searching for was inches from my grasp.  My heart pounded as it once did in the open sunflower fields in the south of France, yet my body presented a chill once realized on a bitterly cold winter day in Sweden.  How could someone have such parallels with another, having experienced life in a place that couldn’t be more distant from the mountains of North Carolina?  And even more compelling, how does a conversation travel from a love of cars to the innermost thoughts and opinions on life and happiness?

Sometimes, when you least expect it, people enter your life and offer you something… a new direction, a new outlook, a new idea… I can only think of a select few times in my life when I have felt so impressionable, and this is one of those times.  I truly believe I had an epiphany that day, and for that Joe, I truly thank you.

Has anything amazing happened in your life that felt totally spontaneous?  An occurrence that changed or altered your life when you least expected it?  I would love to hear about it!



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