Welcome to where the seeds of dreams are planted--where one can sip from the charmed chalice of life & meet interesting folk through (hopefully) intelligent conversation.

One never knows nor can expect who will sail into the fray--what we do know is that no soul here is perfect no matter how we try. So let us celebrate & raise our mugs to the idiosyncratic nature of life--to the Kramer's & Norm's of the world, the Roseanne's & Allan Poe's. Some old, some lost, some tortured, some blessed, all souls sharing a drink at the same time in the same place. The ensuing tales are authentic with names trending towards monikers. The flag waving on our doorstep means we're open, so come perk your curiosity in Le Harbor Bungalow Cafe.

Bonjour! Mesherfin! Hasta la vista! Your barista.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Mountaineer & an Urbanite

A scene from earlier this month...

"Jennifer, look who's famous!"  The barista's sarcastic tone complemented his enthusiastic skipping to the news rack.  He opened the December issue of Baltimore's Urbanite Magazine to page 15 and placed it on the cafe bar.  It seems one of his submissions was published:



My first hike above tree line—approximately 10,000 feet above sea level, where the bitter conditions allow little to no vegetation—was on the side of a Pacific Northwest Cascade Range volcano named Mt. Shasta. The season was autumn, four years ago.

Anyone in decent hiking shape can make the jaunt from the parking lot along the dirt trails and underneath the towering Ponderosa pines and white firs. And everyone should. Each step took me away from the buzzing highway, further from the trains' bullhorns. Away from the breaking news and the rhythms and blues of what has become the latest American routine.

About 1,500 vertical feet up from the trailhead (a rather mellow, gradual incline), the only sounds I heard were the high winds whistling through the evergreens, the fallen leaves—brown, yellow, and red—occasionally rustling on the forest floor, and the steps of my hiking boots massaging the earth in 4/4 time. More quiet than the hustle and bustle even at the trailhead, but not silence. Not yet. As these external waves of sound became less frequent intruders of my eardrums, the internal sounds of my mind multiplied. Did I bring the house keys? ... I'm kinda hungry ... I sure wish I wasn't alone ... What a great idea it was to move here ... I hope I don't run into a bear ... or a mountain lion. The voices of my mind gave me the quaint feeling of having spoken to an old friend for the first time in years. With less being forced into my ears, I was able to really listen to myself—or whoever was tickling my mind. Still hiking, I remembered the time I was given a free session from a hypnotist at a health fair sponsored by my former employer. My mind became similarly clear and empty. I also recalled the many hours of practicing yoga, focusing on my breath—which was now silent—and reaching that familiar meditative state. The higher I hiked that hill, the deeper I traveled into the depths of my mind normally obscured by noise—even music. The metaphor was not lost on me.
I reached the barren landscape above 10,000 feet vertical elevation and sat down on a rock. No trees. No leaves. No people. No sound. My mind as barren as the landscape surrounding me. Empty, and silent.

Reggie Stiteler currently resides in Fells Point, where he slings coffee and pastries by day while singing and slapping his bass guitar by night. More of his writing can be found at www.harborbungalowcafe.blogspot.com.



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