Tuesday, March 26, 2013



A woman, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last week, had an interesting story to tell me, and one that I will not soon forget. Our meeting took place in a quaint café. The café is just a small one, newly opened in the downtown Toronto area. It has a lovely atmosphere, which is very inviting to the eyes as well as the soul. Instead of the usual set up of single chairs and tables, it has lounge chairs, chaise chairs and sofas. The tables are made of tree stumps that were discarded in a lumber yard.
The café has no cashier, and the coffee is self serve. How do you pay? Well you place your change in the machine, very much like a do-it-yourself car wash. When I first noticed this I thought “Well this is different… but how will the owner know if people are actually paying… or getting free refills?”
I didn’t have the exact change, I had a five dollar bill, but the machine makes change, so it was easy to pay. I grabbed my change from my five dollar bill, took my coffee and sat down on one of the most beautifully made Italian leather chaises that I’ve ever sat on. I opened my laptop and noticed they had free wifi, bonus, and begun to write.
It wasn’t until after the first taste of my coffee, roughly five minutes after sitting down, that a woman’s voice came from a sofa beside me. She had a Russian newspaper in her hands and she said without any hint of a Russian accent “How do you like it?”
Naturally she took me off guard so I wanted her to clarify what she was referring to. I assumed she meant how do I like the place so I said “Do you mean how do I like the place? It’s great! How do you like it?”
She laughed and said “How do you like the coffee?”
I said “Oh I love it actually. I was just thinking that it has such a unique taste to it. I wonder where it comes from.”
“It comes from my backyard.”
Now I was astonished. So of course I had to ask. “Your backyard?”
She could tell I was completely confused and she gave a little laugh. “In Kenya. I import the coffee from Kenya.”
I looked around. The atmosphere was European, she was reading a Russian newspaper, but she was from Kenya, and oh yes, her race? She was East Asian. Needless to say I was completely enthralled by this woman. “So you are the owner?”
“No my dead husband is… and the creator. All this was his idea.”
“He is- was a very smart man. This place is an awesome idea.”
“Yes. So far I’ve been open for one week. It was a huge investment. Took a lot to start it up- downtown Toronto is very expensive. But I have no regrets. What I have put in, I have already gotten out in just seven days.”
I was shocked. “You made that much money already?!”
“No, no, not that much money yet. I will have to wait most likely one year before I can make the financial forecast, but emotionally it has been well worth it.”
“Oh I see. Why do you say that?”
“Well, my husband Enoch had a café in mind for many years. I never really felt coffee was so important. I’m more of a tea person. I am from Korea, he is from Africa. We met in India nine years ago. We were both newly divorced. He was on a business trip. I was looking for a new business idea. He was a wealthy man. He fell in love with me at first sight.
After India I had no plans to move back to Korea. My husband left me for a younger woman to give him children. I could never have children. He married me because I was beautiful. After so many years of trying to have children and couldn’t, my beauty was not important to him any longer and he threw me away like nothing.
I decided to leave Korea because I had no choice. I set out to buy supplies, textiles, with my last bit of money I was given in my divorce, and then come see my dying aunt here in Canada. I had plans to do business here. I sew very well. I used to make all my own clothes.
My aunt was the only one who cared about me. My family in Korea was not interested in taking care of me. They were embarrassed because of my divorce. My first husband was also wealthy and my family was very proud of me that I was married into so much money. Once they found out about my divorce they didn’t return my calls. They wanted nothing to do with me.
Enoch, became my second husband, but really he was my first true love. From the moment he met me he didn’t want to be away from me. I was honest about my life and he understood my situation. Right away he asked me to go back to Africa with him. I knew he was a good man, I had nothing to lose, and so I went.
He owned lots of land and I lived there and enjoyed life for eight years. Then one year ago he found out he had prostate cancer. It was too far advanced, stage four already when he found out, and there was nothing we could do to save him. The doctors suggested that he just enjoy the rest of his life, which may only be months. They were right. He died four months ago, only eight months after he found out he had cancer.
Naturally, when we first found out it took us by shock. His only goal was to make sure I was well taken care of. He got all his business affairs put in my name, and made sure all his business associates were on board with everything. He has such nice people around him, and his family is so nice to me, he knew the business would be good in their hands to run, and they would understand that the business would be in my name. Its better they run the business. They have been doing it long before I appeared.
His last wish was to come to Canada. That surprised me at first. He never mentioned it before. When I asked him why Canada he said “Because when I met you in India, your heart was set on Canada. It was the plan of your spirit. You need to follow your heart now that it will be free again.” So he set me up with this business. You see he always had a business idea like this, but he wanted to do it in France, where he has lots of family. However, he wanted me to be here, where he felt I needed to capture something. He believed very much in the meaning of life.
At first, my only concern with this type of business was how will I know if people paid or if they are stealing free refills. He said I shouldn’t mind that.
Anyway, when he died in my arms, down the street at the Princess Margaret Hospital, he said to me “Do not cry for me. Do not be sad… Do not be attached to life and you will not be sad by the results.” I didn’t understand what he meant. But now I do. Now I get what he meant and I love it fully.”
At this point I was very quiet. All I could ask was “How did you get what he meant?”
“Well, my first day opened I sold two coffees. I had to keep making fresh coffee, because it was sitting there not being sold, so every time I had to make a new batch I didn’t want to waste it, so I gave it to the homeless people outside begging for change on the street. There are many passing by here all day. Then the more I gave to the homeless the more customers I received. The third day I did not have enough time refresh a new pot before another could be made. People were coming in and out. I could see hope. On the fourth day, the same thing and on the fifth I was busier. My passion for this place was so strong now, and so quickly it was becoming my drive in life. Then yesterday on the sixth day is when I realized what my husband meant.
Yesterday nobody showed up, nobody bought coffee, not one person. I was anticipating, hoping, waiting, and I even cried at one point. I cried not because I need the money, my husband left me enough for me to live on for the rest of my life, but because I do not want to let my husband down. His dream to make this café work, and also his dream to give me a business in Canada was something he died with.
I was indeed very sad yesterday. But then at the end of the night, a homeless person came in and said “I know you have been very busy the last few days, and I am happy business picked up for you, but your coffee is so good, can you please spare me a cup?” all I could do is cry. At that moment I realized what my husband meant by his dying words. I was becoming so attached to the business that I was forgetting to be benevolent to my friends, the less fortunate outside begging on the street.
You see my husband knew that business would not boom right away, be the same every day or last forever. And he knew life did not last forever neither, so you see, his last words were to teach me not become attached to the things of the world, and when things do not go the way I planned, do become dismayed.
So today, when I unlocked the café doors I asked God to please send in people who he wants to be here. People who will enjoy my husband’s coffee from his land, our backyard, and enjoy with us our dreams, and you are the first to come. You entered at 10:30am, five minutes after I finished setting up. So now I must ask you, what made you come in?”
My mouth must have been opened the entire time, in awe of the beautiful story I was hearing, because all of a sudden I realized how dry my throat was, and how wet my eyes were. I said “my spirit leaped out when I looked in here. I knew I had to come in and sit down and enjoy this atmosphere. My spirit led and I followed.”
God had a lesson for me in that café. God wanted me to know that I shall never be attached or affected by the things of this world. Just continue to draw near to him. Of course appreciate the glorious wonders he provides, but do not attach myself to it so much that it affects me tremendously when it is taken away.
Nothing is more important than the Divine and as long as you have God, the almighty Creator, you have everything, and all else is replaceable.   
The only question I have now is when she learned to read Russian. Looking forward to that conversation when I go back for another great cup of coffee. 

To book a private one-on-one, couples or family intuitive life coaching session please contact Cerise directly by email, phone or text.Workshops on strengthening spirituality facilitated by Cerise are held every Saturday. Topics range from relationships, spiritual gifts, knowing thyself, understanding the mind, thinking positive, erasing negative, enhancing life and so many more topics. To join the weekly workshops please inquire by email or text (416) 722-5233. For in-class footage on past workshops please visit www.youtube.com/cerisefairfax, www.cerisefairfax.com


Post a Comment