I didn’t always like Sundays when I was a child. When I was in grade school, my family attended church every Sunday morning at 10:30. It was a ritual I was expected to perform without question and without choice. As a result, instead of feeling peaceful and blessed, I remember just feeling anxious, exhausted, and bored. Even though I had visions of angels, I didn’t feel connected to religion. Though I didn’t understand it at the time, somewhere in my heart, I was developing my own faith, my own belief system. Now, that I am older and feel free to express my personal feelings and thoughts, I have become more spiritual, loving, and faithful. Even though I am not a churchgoer, I love Sundays now! I look forward to Sunday mornings all week. I enjoy the simplicity and laziness of a beautiful Sunday morning. To me, there is just something so peaceful and enjoyable about Sundays.
I don’t want to rush around on Sunday mornings. I don’t want to feel stress or anxiety. I usually spend Sunday mornings studying, reading, writing, and contemplating life while indulging in a large cup of black coffee. So, on this Sunday morning, May 3, 2015, I woke up around 7:30, got dressed, and drove to a small café for coffee. I sat in a small booth in the restaurant and unpacked the three books I had brought with me that day. Several years ago, a teacher told me to always carry around three books: one for study, one for entertainment, and one for prayer or spiritual awakening. Everywhere I go now, I travel with a bag of books. Since this was Sunday morning, I decided to concentrate on the spiritual awakening. I opened up my book by Brian Weiss and took out my notebook. I usually take notes on everything I read unless I’m reading for entertainment. I found myself completely relaxing now as I opened up my notebook, picked up my pen, and began to write down information on the immortality of the soul. I breathed a heavy sigh as I felt my body relaxing.
Suddenly, I found myself jumping when I heard a loud voice shout, “What the f**k did that mean?”
I shivered and cringed for a moment as the strong male voice continued to shout. “Man, that was the strangest s**t I ever did see,” the man hollered.
Loud, unfamiliar voices make me uncomfortable. I remember my father’s loud, stern voice and the anger his words would conveyed. I get nervous around loud noises, especially when I am out on my own. There have been so many news stories of people being horribly violent in public places. I worry that someone will strike out at me for some reason and I have no protection. As the man continued to shout, my first thought was, “I need to leave.” I put down my pen, closed my notebook, and grabbed my bag…
…But suddenly I stopped moving. I sat silently for a moment. Instead of yelling now, the man was laughing; the sound echoed around the room, bouncing off the walls. His laughter wasn’t cruel, maniacal, or hateful. His full, loud laughter instead was joyful, happy, and hearty…and it made me smile.
I glanced up, and straight in front of me, sitting at a table, was a group of four young men and one young woman. The man who had been yelling was dressed in a stained, torn tank top and khaki shorts. His long, curly, dark hair was pulled back under a blue folded bandana. His companions were dressed in a similar fashion. All five of the people sitting at the table looked like they had been lost in the desert for a few days. And yet there was something still so fresh and beautiful about them. They were dusty not dirty. They were loud but not angry. They were cussing but not offensive.
The people were a strong contradiction to my day. My quiet Sunday morning had been interrupted and yet it still felt peaceful. I was reading about the immortality of the soul and watching people express their true spirits right in front of me. I am alone and yet felt connected to the people around me. As the group sitting across from me yelped and hollered and laughed, my day seemed to be more loving, serene, and calm. I loved their energy. I loved their spirit. I loved the way they playfully teased and laughed with each other. The five people seemed to remind me that even though I am an older woman, I am, every day, growing younger.
After about another half hour, the five young people left the café and I returned to my book. I couldn’t concentrate now though. I felt pumped up, energized, and ready to get on with my day. I didn’t want to sit in quiet contemplation today. I wanted to laugh. I wanted to scream out. I wanted to be heard. I felt so blessed to see people so alive and joyful today. What more could I have possibly prayed for? My peaceful Sunday morning had been suspended, and yet I have never felt so close to God. Sundays don’t have to be quiet, but they can always be blissful.