Ordinary. What on earth does that mean? I call my times and my travel ordinary because I think many other people have similar experiences. Their experience may not be the same in circumstances but might have some of the same emotional, psychological or spiritual effects. It is kind of comforting to know that your feelings are shared by others. It’s not just you.
This day in Seattle was a work at the office day for my daughter. Seattle traffic is awful. I don’t just say that as a visitor either. I sat next to some residents on the plane getting here and they brought it up. This day brought some pleasant surprises for me in respect to traffic. Work is now much closer for Esther and driving there does not entail 30 minutes of creeping along at 5 miles per hour like it used to. We crossed the bridge from West Seattle but got off immediately at 1st Ave. It was probably only half a mile to Starbucks.
On top of Starbucks Corporate is a clock tower. It is crowned literally with their logo of a mermaid or siren with a crown. It’s in an area at sea level, on the flat near the harbor and you can see it from quite a distance. It is kind of like a church steeple for coffee worshipers. Really. My daughter says the building is beautiful and complicated inside – she’s gotten lost a couple times. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get anything like a tour yet since Esther isn’t one of their regular employees, but I am curious. Last night I went in the coffee shop on the ground level and got a coconut milk hot chocolate while I waited to pick her up.
There are a number of strange myths about the Starbucks logo but I think their official position is that they were looking for a nautical image, since they started in Seattle where there’s a lot of nautical going on. Mermaids seemed to fit the bill in a romantic kind of way. Since then, the legends about sirens luring sailors to their death has led to some speculation but since coffee has been shown to have beneficial effects (lots of antioxidants) I don’t really see the connection.
Generally, people who work there seem to look pretty happy. I’ve heard of the company bringing in bands for entertainment, having a day care on the premises, hosting events for charity and well, any company who has a designated “nap room” can’t be bad for people. You don’t even have to like their coffee to work there, although it would probably help.
There are a number of bridges and overpasses on the route to Esther’s workplace and since I drove to pick her up twice yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice the people living under them. It is cold enough here to be uncomfortable and yet the homeless were there on the cold cement, sitting around their piles of clothing and mattresses. There was even a tent set up under one bridge. This is not camping weather.
I did manage to go the Metropolitan Grocery in between trips to Starbucks yesterday. I was looking for something specific for a project Esther and I are working on. More about that tomorrow.
Just before we went to sleep last night Esther came in and took me to the window. “See the Star of Bethlehem.” And there it was, high up in the sky on the bluff behind the house. Wonders abound.