I have found mecca. The fountain of youth. The happiest place on earth. It’s just minutes from my house and not nearly as expensive as Disneyland. It’s the Number One Mailbox place on the corner of La Peer and Olympic in Beverly Hills.
I was trying to be a good mom on a bad day, so I set out to finally return the greatly anticipated new backpack that sadly did not work as planned. I don’t often frequent mailbox places. Rather when I need to engage in mail activities I choose the route of the martyr, standing in line with the masses at the local post office with others whose bad mood might match my own. But I was trying to treat myself more kindly that day, and had splurged on a nearly five dollar latte when I noticed the possibility to get that hateful returning-by-mail errand out of the way with one less movement of my car.
One person stood in front of me. She was opening a big box and was offering some of its contents to Michael, the store owner. Seems she gets this box monthly, some kind of health box, and I was reminded we are in Beverly Hills after all. She didn’t like the protein flavor of the month and was sure her kids would not want the trail mix. Michael was happy to take these items off her hands. He was a fresh faced, smiling kind of guy. A calm, surfer dude blend of office effieicney Michael interacted with all his customers, knowing their names, their dogs names, and sometimes even their kids. They knew him too, and asked after his parents with whom he apparently resides. There was much light hearted yet genuine banter as some entrusted him with deeply personal items.
I loved it. I wanted to be part of this easy looking interchange. I noticed a bit of birthday cake on his desk and asked if he was celebrating a new year. He explained that a customer (I think he called her client) had brought it to share. Seems she is an older woman, a former Broadway dancer, living here with no friends or family, and brought her birthday cake over to the store to share with Michael and some other shop owners in the strip mall. That clinched it for me. This little pocket of the world truly was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This could have been a super sad state of affairs to hear about, but nope, not here. Not at the Number One Mailbox place. It was just sort of a lovely little piece of this woman’s reality that was warmly accepted and reciprocated by the realities of these other humans with whom she interacts on a daily basis.
Maybe you had to be there. But it stuck with me, this little slowed down quiet moment in time. We all talked further about what makes a community for a moment, the elected version of family. Then Michael gave me the CD his band just finished, and I gave him my yoga teacher’s card for his retired dancer friend.
These people, this spot, secured my connection to the world around me on a day that I was not at all sure of my footing. I know well the benefits of being alone, but I know too the suffering that can come from feeling isolated. May we we all find the courage on those days to look out and up and around you as you might be hit with unexpected enjoyment. The truth is, I will not likely go back to this particular Mailbox place. Sweet as Michael was, he sweetly sent my package to the wrong place. But who am I to judge. He was too buys smiling and exchanging his kindness with me to fuss over the details of the actual work. I am ever grateful his accidental teaching.
Please come share in our community this week! Many BONUS practices available in addition to our regular schedule
FRIDAY 2/27 5:30-6:30 pm U STUDIO 5410 Wilshire Blvd
SUNDAY 3/1 9:30-10:30 am Alliance 9000 W. Washington Blvd, Culver City
MONDAY 3/2 8:15-9:15 am Emanuel
TUESDAY 3/3 9:00-10:00 am Emanuel
5:30-6:45 pm U STUDIO
7:00-8:00 pm U STUDIO
THURSDAY 3/5 8:30-9:30 am EMANUEL
7:00-8:00 pm U STUDIO
SUNDAY 3/8 9:30-10:30 am Alliance