Recently, I woke up with the kind of fuzzy brain feeling that leaves a person unable to quite wake up. Adding to my groggy state, was a late morning marine layer that wouldn't burn off. Thinking some strong coffee and a walk outdoors might help, I headed to a local cafe. I ordered my coffee and stared blankly out a window, trying to clear my head. 

Unaware of the other diners around me, I hardly noticed a gentleman approach my table. I made no eye contact with him till he set a small, yellow flower next to my coffee cup. "A Plumeria to cheer your day!" he announced enthusiastically. Surprised, I managed to smile and mutter a sincere thank you. Then he turned and was gone as quickly as he'd appeared.

I picked the flower up by it's short, thick stem and almost immediately a strong, beautiful scent filled the air. Breathing
 in the fragrance a few times, I began to feel more alert. And as I did, the marine layer began to seem less gray.

I looked around to get a better look at the man who had given me the flower. He appeared to be in his mid to late seventies, with a grin that was ageless. I watched him circulate around the room with a handful of the flowers. As he moved from table to table, he handed one to each person. I glanced over at someone directly across from me and noticed a women about his age wearing a lei, made from the same yellow blossoms. And whenever the man ran out of flowers, she plucked some from her lei for him to give out. They continued doing this till everyone in the place had a flower, including the servers, the cooks, even the manager.

Smiling, I tucked the bloom behind my ear so I could enjoy it's scent. The entire atmosphere in the cafe changed in such a short time. People placed the the flowers in their lapels, their hair or behind their ears. The woman wearing the lei seemed satisfied when she had only a few flowers left on it's string. By now, the place was alive with strangers talking with each other. People were laughing, spreading well wishes, and listening with interest to each other's stories.

When the couple got up to leave, the customers and staff wished them well as if they had known each other for years. I waved to the two of them through the window and looked forward to a long walk outdoors, as the last of my foggy haze disappeared. I kept the flower for several days. Each time I smelled it, it brought a smile to my face and reminded me of the effect the blossoms had on the diner's in the cafe. I haven't seen a Plumeria since, but I remember how it's wonderful scent changed my day. And how a thoughtful act of kindness by two strangers, brought happiness that morning to so many people. ~KL

Remembering That Freedom Isn't Free

Remembering That Freedom Isn't Free
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