A Flowering From Within


1 June 2021

Orchids blooming by my window. 1 June 2021.

The elderly man had been taking drink orders from table to table.

When he came to me I asked for kopi-o, meaning black coffee with added sugar.

Perhaps there were too many orders to hold in his mind so he asked me again. He repeated my order after me like a child willing himself to memorise the multiplication table without understanding.

Sensing his slight panic as he struggled mentally to collate his orders, I casually said, “Don’t worry, uncle. Just bring me what you can remember. I’ll drink it even if it’s the wrong one.”

Upon my words, a look of relief unfolded across his face like a flower blooming.

The peace radiating from his shrunken frame was quite unmistakable. Till this day I can recall that peace at will.

Every encounter is an opportunity to learn to be at ease.

When I rid the elderly coffee shop worker of his anxiety, I also released me from the fixation of having my order obeyed in certain ways.

So I learnt that when we allow others to breathe, we can also breathe.❤️

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