There are still some things keeping me in the city, but I must say I am enjoying myself because of the simple gift of time. I/’ve been photographing, writing and otherwise documenting my process of “What Nowness?” Things that bothered me before have become merely a mild annoyance and I’ve been more spontaneous and relaxed.

Recently Calvin and I were left behind in the city on a holiday weekend. We actually enjoy the city when it is quiet and people have gone away. I must admit though I have been daydreaming about a bigger adventure wishing to return to some of the cities in Europe I have never been or those that were fast in/out work trips because I had to get back for meetings and teaching. On this day we decided to walk and allow serendipity rather than Yelp find us a place for brunch.

Wandering down a street, I don’t often travel we passed a wall that opened to reveal a shady green courtyard that startled me. It was unexpected and I was a little surprised I had never come upon it before as I spend so much time downtown. Since my favorite book in the world is “The Secret Garden”, and this felt like I had just discovered one I was pulled in. We were seated (luckily without a reservation) because we were early. Given I have a pretty big imagination, it felt a little like we were having brunch in Paris. Menus appeared coffees came, we ordered, I enjoyed all the details and took some photos.

It wasn’t until I went inside that I realized I had passed the front of this place literally thousands of times thinking it was only a storefront that served pastel-colored macaroons, which most of the time was not enough to pull me in. If I had investigated further I would have found a romantic and beautifully appointed tearoom and of course my “secret garden”. I could have run away to “Paris” countless times when I wanted to before. This experience of course again got me thinking back to process and how much beauty we miss when everything is going so fast.

I think the best part of letting myself have my “What Nowness” are all the surprises and moments of pleasure. Wow, I did not realize how much I was missing when I was moving so fast. Still not there but finding so much beauty along the way.

What surprises are you finding in your “What Nowness?”