I received an email message this morning that changed my morning, uplifted and inspired me. So instead of the email I planned to send about our holiday schedule and class reminders, I’m sharing this one instead. It’s from a friend who recently traveled abroad and here’s his account of meeting someone spectacular in a bar.
He writes:I was recently captivated by a woman. I sat in a quiet corner of a bar. She caught my eye the moment she entered because her deportment was of confident flow, head slightly raised, eye contact with everyone. She was dressed immaculately and moved through the bar with poise.
She chose the bar chair next to me, and as I moved to make more room for her, she placed her hand on my shoulder and wished me ‘Happy Sunday.’ She told me that she was making a point to say happy Sunday to everyone she met that day.
She then greeted the bar staff by name, and with each greeting, the servers beamed back smiles. I watched this uplift their energy. A regular at the bar, the servers fought to be the first to prepare and present her favorite drink, strong Bloody Mary.
We started talking. I think she expected a short conversation of customary politeness, but I was quickly captivated by this woman and determined not to let her off so easily. I learned she was born in Ireland but had traveled much since. We shared some of the same travel experiences, which were not the usual, forming a bond of sorts. It deepened the conversation, and she then laced it with quotes from famous writers and philosophers she had met or studied along the way.
A diner sat to her right latched onto the conversation, his mirror neurons drawn to it like a moth to a flame. He discarded his meal and started leaning toward us.
This dynamic woman then recited the whole of Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘IF,’ with practiced cadence. The servers were so mesmerized by her that they ignored other patrons and huddled in front of her space as if desperate to absorb some of her good-feeling energy. Then she switched to Gaelic, and I switched to what Welsh phrases I could remember. She showed me her text message sign-offs and her Twitter handle, both in Gaelic. She was far more active on social media than most people I met.
I learned that she spends four months a year traveling through Europe by herself. She drives a convertible always with the top down and regardless of the weather—what a character. What an inspirational lesson in how playing with energy can be so effortless.
It may or may not surprise you to learn that my new heartthrob who captivated the entire bar area was 88 years old with ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
After lunch, she finished our conversation with a piece of advice for me. She said, “I think there is only one point in talking, and that is to find a way to make a positive difference with each other. Otherwise, just keep quiet, I say.”
She hopped off the stool with the sprightliness of someone thirty years younger, and it took her a good 15 minutes to leave the bar area as so many people greeted and hugged her on her way out. Through the window, I saw her get into her convertible car and drive away with confidence, a big smile permanently fixed for all.