There’s a tiny cafe hidden in Ireland that nearly saved my life.
Desperate for a quality cup of coffee and a place to warm our hands, my sister and I wandered into an ordinary cafe that smelled like warm bread and sweet potatoes.
It became our getaway spot. It was a safe place during the weeks that held nothing but storms and the reality that our souls had long been shipwrecked.
It was the only comfort I had during that time. I was in a beautiful country where I should have been having the adventure of a lifetime, and the only thing keeping my head above water was this unextraordinary squirrel-themed cafe. For a few weeks, that cafe became home.
Find the squirrel-themed cafe.
I think if there’s anything I could tell you about hard times, it’s that. Find a place to sit down and take your coat off, a place where you can eat a good bowl of soup and tell someone that you don’t think you can go another step further.
Last weekend, I moved back to Georgia.
Which came as a surprise to a lot of people because that was not the plan at all. I had other things penciled in for the next season of my life and after erasing and re-writing things a million times over, I finally let God come in with his big permanent marker and write a solid plan.
When I got here, I thought maybe I was going to find all the adventure my heart could want and that I was going to begin the epic next season of my life.
I let myself believe that I could tie up the past six months with a little bow and forget them. I settled in to my new room and with my incredible roommates and got ready to start my new life.
Two mornings later held me crying in the kitchen floor with two friends who reminded me that life is mostly a circle and we rarely ever get clean breaks and a fresh start.
I was frustrated, once again feeling a little shipwrecked. But, I was happier than words could even express because I found my squirrel-themed cafe. Once again, I found the place where my jacket comes off, my coffee stays warm, and I can say the things that the strangers on the street probably need not hear.
After a season of incredible pain, this has been the thing I’ve been wanting all along. I haven’t really been wanting to go on adventures or live some epic life. I’ve actually just been wanting to find a place to curl up with people and say it’s really nice not to be alone anymore.
We think we want the cliffs in Ireland and we actually just want an average room on a quiet little street. We want a seat at a table with people whose eyes aren’t darkened with judgment at the hardest chapters of our stories. We want coffee on the hardwood floors; we want a place where people can remind you that God isn’t up there cringing at the sight of your broken and misguided heart.
Sometimes, I think we crave the adventures and the going our own way because it makes our coming home that much sweeter.
So, for now, I’m home. I’m back in the house that creaks with every footstep, that gets too hot in the summer and its power knocked out in the winter. I’m back where the front doors stay wide open, inviting the breeze and the neighbors to come and stay a while.
I’m in the place of not needing adventure because home, right now, seems already too sweet to swallow.
You need the epic adventures, the road trips from coast to coast, the oceans and mountains and the fun of getting lost in airports. But mostly you need them to remind you that what you really need more is home. And sometimes you can’t be thankful for home until you’ve spent a long time away.