It's a quiet village
Ev'ry day, like the one before
Full of little people..."
Do you remember the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast? The one where Belle walks out of her house and through the little village on her way to the bookshop? The townspeople greet her with "bonjours" as she makes her way through town.
About an hour north of Seattle, Washington sits a little town called Bow. No, there is no beast or castle. There is no magic enchantment or animated candelabras. At least not that I've been made aware of. It is however a quiet village full of people waiting to say hello.
Situated at the edge of the main street is a bakery, a bakery called Breadfarm, filled to the brim with breads, pastries and treats. Inside you can see young school children on a field trip, learning about yeast and how bakers make the day's bread. There will be mothers drinking their morning coffee as they feed their babies. And had you been there on a quiet morning in May, you would have seen Tommy viciously devouring Parisian macarons and freshly baked rye bread. It was a sight to behold.
While out West I was struck by the unique effect that nature can have - grounding you and giving you the opportunity to hit a reset button of sorts. What I also realized was how drastically different people's day-to-day can look. Not necessarily in their work or home rituals, but simply in the pace and manner in while they carry about their lives. The people that I came into contact with at Breadfarm took the time to converse with those around them. They savored the freshly baked goods that they had just purchased. They knew the names of the artisans that worked at the bakery.
You may find that here and there in Chicago or another large city. But changes are, it might be hard to come by. Think about it. Take me for example - if I need a loaf of bread I run to the local Whole Foods. I don't talk to the people behind the bakery counter. I walk up to the shelves of bread, pick one up, and carry about my way. What I am saying is this - go local. Support the small mom and pop stores in your neighborhood. Learn about the people you interact with. Care about those around you. Trust me, it is a rewarding experience for everyone.