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Michael standing next to Nowhere, SD sign


I love the café. It is the place where stories come together. And I am a storyteller. Lesley jokes with people – as a sort of warning I guess – “ask a question; get a story”.

I don’t always get to tell my stories though…. At a recent breakfast, sitting at a table with men of my vintage, I was introduced as “Michael, who tells a great story!” The introducer then proceeded to tell, what he thought, was my funniest story. Sigh. Fortunately, he mostly did it justice 😜

Why is that important? Because I believe the value of a story is in the ending. I once spent days reading a book only to find at the end the hero dies an ignoble death. No justice, no glorious end in battle like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, no meaningful mark left others, just blah. I like stories of adventure, intrigue and wit with a meaningful ending. Not necessarily happy, but meaningful.

As an avid coffee guy, I am very conscious of the story of the coffee bean. The story of the journey is called “Seed to Cup” and its ending is the affect it has on the ones who read, or in this case taste the ending. From the coffee beans birth as a seed within the coffee cherry, its nurtured growth, timely harvest and precise processing all the way the roaster and ultimately the barista. The nurture of each stage of the journey maintains its purity leading to the climax, when the consumer, tasting the coffee, experiences with satisfaction the story’s conclusion presenting that ‘ahhh Moment’. 

Our mission at Essence is to present the sensual ending to the coffee bean story. You could say we preserve the ‘ahhhh’ in every cup – cheesy I know. This is a significant factor in the vibe of Essence for it is the essence of what brings people together, creating a point of intersection in the various stories; creating, if you will, a story within a story, a destination for a moment and then a beginning. 

As the poet John Donne wrote:

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

I guess this is my point for wandering into the realms of philosophy, our stories are enriched by the intersection of other’s stories. The café is a place that brings stories together and perhaps unwittingly adds to each story.

“And I shall dwell in house of the Lord forever”, so ends the story of Psalm 23. A short story of the journey of life and the Lord as faithful companion and mentor whose presence is to fortify the journeyer. A notable phrase in the Psalm is “He makes me to lie down in green pastures”. In the midst of all the stories of life, sometimes we need to be made to “lie down in green pastures” for a moment to consider our stories.

Why not grab a cuppa, sit quietly for a few moments and think on your story? There are many stories with many possible diversions and endings.

Your story needs an ending to work toward, and every meaningful ending demands a meaningful story. Enjoy the journey: Your life is a story unfolding.

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