I have been reminded many times recently about the importance of a sense of community and a feeling of connection. A woman that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years messaged me on Facebook after I shared information about my new book, Think Your Way to Happiness and my new website, lauriehyatt.com. She reminded me that when we last saw each other at a coffee shop in the Ingles shopping center in Dawsonville, Georgia, I was writing my book, Silent Decision.
She would have liked to have read that book but I hadn’t finished it when the coffee shop closed. We didn’t have a place to meet anymore. That coffee shop was a gathering place for kindred spirits who liked to read or write or chat about the issues of the day. I don’t think that the husband, wife, son trio who ran the coffee shop realized the service that they were providing to the community and the customers didn’t realize that they were struggling.
I just finished watching the Amazon Prime British series called The Café. The focal point of the series was an eight-sided blue building which served as a coffee and sandwich shop run by a three generational family, the grandmother, the mother, and the granddaughter. Because of the café, all sorts of eccentric and interesting people met and became connected. The sense of community and connection at The Café was so important to them that when the family was behind in their payments, the customers banded together to raise the money to keep them afloat.
This morning, while having coffee and writing this blog on my porch, a neighbor came looking for my husband. We chatted for a few minutes and then he left saying, “I’m going to go get a cup of coffee.” I just had to ask, “Where do you go for coffee?” To my astonishment, he replied, “RaceTrac.” “Really!” I responded. “Why RaceTrac?” You’ve already guessed, I’m sure, that the reason that he drives three miles every day for coffee at RaceTrac is because he likes the people who work there and he meets people there. A gathering place. A place that he looks forward to being every day because of his connection with the people who work and meet there.
A sense of community. A gathering place. Connection.
How about you? Where is your place to connect with kindred spirits?