Feb 3, 2013

A Moment in Franklin Village

January 27, 2013
With the thick snowflakes blanketing the village in white, Franklin looks like the backdrop to some beautiful painting. There are wooden signs posted in front of the library and historic houses, and the thick perimeter of woods made me feel as if I’d been transported 100 years back to a proud country town, rather than an affluent neighborhood in the middle of the suburbs.

I slipped into the local coffee house/ice cream parlor converted from a two-story red farmhouse. Inside, paintings of poppies line the yellow walls and a square chandelier dangles from the open foyer. I was no longer in a time warp; this was a modern establishment wrapped in the shell of history.

I’m always looking for “the perfect café” – one that gives you a sense of staying power. When a barista hands you a steaming ceramic mug of coffee, it’s an open invitation to settle in until the snow melts off your boots and the warmth returns to your cheeks.

Even in such a quaint looking village as Franklin, however, the gingerbread latte I ordered comes in a cardboard cup with a travel lid, for my convenience, so I can gulp it down on the way out. In the American culture, the underlying current seems to be “go, go, go” rather than the more European “just be.”

Determined to just be for at an hour out of the scheduled day, I took my latte upstairs to enjoy from the hayloft as I read Rumi’s poetry:

There is Nothing Ahead
Lovers think they’re looking for each other,
but there’s only one search: wandering
this world is wandering that,
both inside one
transparent sky. In here there is
no dogma and no heresy.
The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said
or did about the future. Forget the future.
I’d worship someone who could do that.
On the way you may want to look back, or not.
But if you can say, There’s nothing ahead,
there will be nothing there.
Stretch your arms
and take hold the cloth of your clothes
with both hands. The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed. If you don’t have both,
you don’t belong with us.
When one of us gets lost,
is not here, he must be inside us. There’s no
place like that anywhere in the world.

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