On the Waterfront


A couple of weeks ago, I flew to DC to attend the HRC Chef's for Equality dinner as a guest of Barilla to celebrate our work on Share the Table. I asked my friend Laurie to go with me and we had a fabulous time sampling things like bison and venison and oysters. You can never go wrong with great food and great company. The next day, I walked to the waterfront in Georgetown and sat down on the concrete steps leading down to the Potomac. The sky was clear blue and the sun was warm and bright and it was quiet but not silent--water lapping at the shoreline, traffic in the distance, a tugboat's engine churning across the way. I'd stopped for coffee at a local place along the way and my latte was perfect--the temperature, the depth of the flavor, everything. All these details aligned to create an impossibly beautiful moment and I found myself wondering, "How did I get here?"

I could answer that question literally. I chose to get up early even though I hadn't slept well. I decided to get coffee from a new place rather than my usual Starbucks and to walk to the waterfront by myself even though I was afraid of getting lost.

But, the question was bigger than that, the kind of question that often leads to wonder and gratitude. I was there in that moment because nearly 10 years ago, I started a blog without knowing what the hell I was doing or why. I met people along the way who encouraged me, taught me, and made me a better person and writer. Some of those people led me to opportunities I couldn't have imagined on my own, including working with good people and a generous company. The path from my desk in a cubicle in 2006 to those steps on the waterfront was not something I could have plotted and planned but I am forever grateful. Most of the time, we don't know what's coming and life can seem unpredictable which can be frightening. Sometimes, though, we do the work and connect with the best people and say "yes" to the next thing and the surprise result is good. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a different city with a good cup of coffee and the sun so bright and the sky so blue that we breathe it all in and feel compelled to release a "thank you" over the water.