Each day lends itself to us to venturing into deeper discovery of ourselves and the world around us. Experiences that once seemed random, coincidental or even meaningless may impact you in ways that confirm that everything happens for a reason as “…a guide from beyond” to quote Rumi. These scenarios act as catalysts for life to unfold the way it should- for greater good. Whether we acknowledge and accept it, our lives are shared, not just happening to each of us- we are all intertwined and connected in a kaleidoscope of experiences.
Almost everyone I meet or observe and the associated experience have some kind of deeper impact. The impact sends my mind wandering (not wondering) if there is a universe unfolding beneath my surfaces, what happens beneath theirs?
In an article written by Niel de la Rouviere- The Curious Case of the word Sonder, it is defined as “… the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”
So we set out to speak with random passersby and even some persons I see from time to time but know nothing about, despite their mild and sometimes profound impact on my life experience from day to day.
I have been absolutely in love with Cafe Blue in Irish Town for years. Over the years, as it’s grown- the experience and ambiance have continued to become more magical- every time! One of the most wonderful parts of my moments spent there is being greeted by Sharon. Anyone who visits Cafe Blue in Irish Town would have met Sharon. From interacting with her in those short moments, I’d wonder what her story must be like- so here it is. Sharon Georges moved to Irish Town some fourteen years ago. When asked what she loves most about her life- I could feel sudden warmth in the air, and I noticed the glossy film in her eyes, behind her glasses lenses as she said “my kids”. Sharon is the mother of two, Jhenell & Jamero Ho-On. Her two children who she raised on her own for the past seventeen years after being abondoned by their father. In the midst of moments of struggle- Sharon described how she managed to support her children, giving them the best life she could. A life filled with happiness, dreams and love. Jhenell is now a student at the University of Baltimore on a scholarship, and Jamero is a student at Camperdown High, in Kingston.
Seeing Sharon smile and walk around in a space that is nothing less than majestic- it is clear that she enjoys what she does. Despite the typical ups and downs that will always come along with work- Sharon, who has been in the service industry for over fourteen years says she really enjoys meeting new people every day- people from all walks of life and cultures. She highlighted how impactful the exchanges of smiles and warm gestures with customers are on her- where she ends each day feeling satisfied.
I can never end a deep interaction without asking someone what their passion is. I asked Sharon “What would you do if you could do anything in the world right now?” With excitement in her eyes and a sunbeam daydreaming smile on her face, she stated gently- “Design and Dressmaking”. She explains that she does it in her free time and makes a lot of her own clothing.
It is so beautiful- the fact that everyone you see has their own dreams and aspirations, struggles, accomplishments, love, and triumphs- we all have a story. Exploring Our Sonder explores the truth that inspiring stories are not confined to the corporate spaces- not confined to the realms of those who have arrived. Exploring Our Sonder allows us to find revelation in every stranger we encounter on our journey.