Our Sweet Escape

We were once kids, once happy with just a piece of candy or a handful of chocolate. How did our happiness become so expensive? I wonder.

Who would drive 360 kilometers for a cup of coffee? I would. I did. We did.

The past few months have left my friends and me in our worlds. But one sunny afternoon we found ourselves hopping into a car heading to the mountains.

I can hear you say, “These girls should have gone to louder and brighter places”, but no. The work- from- home setup has given us time to focus on tasks, be productive, and all. But such also filled our brains with so much noise. Mind traffic had been so intense. The chance to take a breather or cultivate a deep sense of reflection had been difficult to come by. So off we went climbing the heights with a single purpose in mind- to have that hot cup of coffee.

The idea was ridiculous. We were laughing about it, teasing each other past traffic signals, fruit trucks, villages, and people camping on desert sands. Our eyes became so used to looking at numbers and computer screens, that seeing those “normal things” as we drove along felt like the first time.

One of my friends quipped, “It looks like we’re in a different place. I haven’t seen these roads nor this side of the city before”. The boring rock mountains suddenly became more interesting, with us making sense of its shape, contours, colors, and just how beautiful they look, carefully perched beneath cotton-shaped clouds.

We missed some turns but laughed about it. We went on counting exits, calculating distance, checking the time, like kids eagerly waiting for ice cream to come.

Surprisingly, no deep conversations took place in the car. There was just this gift of presence as we sat comfortably through moments of quiet— until somebody cracks up a joke, shares a story, or a thought.

I think good people, good friends behave that way. They’re not after what they can get, what needs to happen then or now, they just show up and bring their full attention at every moment.

We reached the cafe after an hour and a half. We took some photos, ordered some food, and took the pleasure of just being in each other’s company. Again, no expectations, no demands, no pretensions, just independent, weary but grateful souls sharing the sunset and an old-fashioned evening with one another. I think besides the moon that gave the cafe an enchanting vibe, it was the gift of togetherness in its purest and respectful sense that made the moment even more charming, more magical.

I went home that night still basking on the beauty of what took place. I was reminded I don’t need expensive stuff, extravagant getaways to experience what peace and joy look like. These gifts get buried in our day today. Oftentimes they wave at us with the excitement of a childhood friend waiting to play in the dirt. Sadly, we ignore it and go on with our adult and more important life, or so we think.  

We were once kids, once happy with just a piece of candy or a handful of chocolate.

How did our happiness become so expensive? I wonder. 

I hope as we grow old we remind ourselves that life is one great adventure that someday will come to an end. We remind ourselves to laugh, to play, and to loosen up. Above all, may we remind ourselves of the beauty of human touch, the connection between us, and once in a while to see the world again from the eyes of a child.