Life lesson in a cafe.
Rushing between appointments on a busy Friday I step across the threshold of one of my favourite cafes, Natural Temptation, to find some delicious, nutritious lunch. My hunger pangs and thoughts of getting quickly to my next appointment are instantly arrested. Something is happening here. The tables and chairs, usually inviting wooden furniture are piled high to one side, the Bain-marie, where steamy aromas of vegetable curries and delectable savoury crepe stacks usually makes choosing lunch a dilemma is cold and empty.
Dismay is clearly written all over my face, and another browsing customer says, ‘didn’t you know, Annie is closing down”.
This unexpected turn of events leads to action. Not the anticipated action of enjoying lunch. Rather, buying some bulk spices (a generous size paper bag of star anise for only $3!), and ultimately a couple of well used sturdy bentwood chairs – I now have a beautiful reminder of this iconic café in my own dining room.
Next, I ask to speak to Annie. Tears well up in my eyes as I thank her for 30 years of amazing food and share how my children would always be eager for a visit to Natural Temptation in the school holidays. It was a highlight. They had their favourite meals, for one an “earth burger”, for another “tuna croquettes”. I loved the frittata and vibrant green raw broccoli salad.
What struck me the most though was how it had taken the closing of her business for me to tell Annie how much we loved her space, her food, her hospitality. I pondered the thought that so often we don’t tell someone how much we appreciate them until they are going or gone. The remedy is obvious to me. Take every opportunity to tell, both those we love and are close to AND those who make our everyday lives extraordinary that they matter!
Dear readers, that includes you. I am a writer, and knowing that you take the time to read what I write means fulfilment to me. Thank you.
In summary, a hastily written ode inspired tribute to Annie
Annie, the temptress.
Reign’s supreme in her café,
Concoctions of lovingly made delight
Both savoury and sweet,
Tempt all our senses.
Annie, sparkly eyed,
Clad in her red apron,
Casts her spell over her hungry customers,
Her food fills us with goodness,
Vibrant with nature’s rainbow of colours.
Annie, ever gracious,
Living and working with integrity,
Earned our unwavering loyalty,
And now, she moves to a new phase of life,
We wish her joy and contentment,
Thank you Annie for momentous meals and memories.
Today I encourage you to look for someone who makes a difference in your everyday life, acknowledge them now, both of you will feel uplifted.
May your day be filled with vitality,