As we step into 2024, I want to share a profoundly moving story that has left an indelible mark on my heart. This tale revolves around a person I had the gift of meeting during a trip to Seattle in December. My husband, Trevor, and I, accompanied by friends, had journeyed to Seattle for a night of entertainment. The show was spectacular, and on our way back to the hotel, my dear friend recommended a coffee shop renowned for serving the best coffee in town.
Eager to experience it, Trevor and I set out the next morning to fetch coffee for everyone. While in the hotel lobby’s Starbucks, I insisted that we venture out for a walk to find the ultimate coffee spot. Google Maps guided us to Pike Place Market, a few blocks from our hotel. Despite using maps, locating the place proved challenging. Fortunately, the locals, recognizing our lost demeanor, offered assistance. Although Trevor was ready to head back to Starbucks, a helpful stranger assured us that “the coffee is worth it.” Encouraged, we pressed on and eventually discovered Storyville Coffee at 94 Pike Street. The welcoming ambiance, friendly baristas, live-edge tables, and amber lighting created a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Our lattes were a work of art, and as we savored them near a window overlooking Pike Place Market adorned with festive
lights, we marveled at the beauty of the season. The realization of the cost of our indulgence prompted a brief shock, but we decided to embrace the moment, enjoying our luxurious lattes in the cozy coffee shop filled with the aroma of cinnamon buns and delectable pastries.
Those lattes turned out to be the best we’d ever had. As we chatted about our evening, Trevor pointed out a message on the back of every employee’s shirt: “LOVE EVERYONE.” This beautiful statement sparked a conversation about the profound truth that love is the key to harmony, peace, and a better world.
While immersed in our discussion, we noticed a young man with Down Syndrome entering the shop with a woman who exuded love in every gesture. His T-shirt featured a picture of himself, and the connection between them was palpable. Intrigued, we approached them introduced ourseves and asked about the t-shirt. The young man, Garry, and the woman, his mother Esther, warmly welcomed us. Astonishingly, we learned that Garry was the inspiration behind the quote on the employees’ shirts, and Storyville Coffee was HIS coffee shop and a way of giving back to the world. All the profits from the shop are dedicated to
combating human trafficking.
This revelation left me speechless, and my seemingly extravagant treat transformed into a meaningful contribution to a noble cause. I felt a sense of connection and purpose, realizing that I was part of a community working towards making the world a better place. This heart opening moment, carried me through the day, enabling me to spread love and tenderness freely.
As I step into 2024, my resolution is to embody more love towards everyone, extending it beyond those closest to me. I aspire to see the humanity in every encounter, aiming to radiate love, just like Garry and Esther.
The picture of Gary and I is in front of his complete quote “ Love everyone and never ever hurt anyone”. Never hurt anyone, might ring a bell if you are familiar with the yamas of the Yoga Sutras, this is Ahimsa! It extends beyond physical harm and violence and includes avoiding harm through thoughts, words, and actions. Practitioners of ahimsa seek to cultivate compassion, love, and understanding in their interactions with others. As we move together into this new year, perhaps ahimsha can be our foundational thought as we move throughout our days.
So, if you find yourself in Seattle, do take a moment to visit Storyville, savor a cup of their coffee, perhaps indulge in a cinnamon bun, and, if you encounter Garry and Esther, say hello—you’ll be grateful you did.
Written by Nicole Whitman