Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Green Earth Media: Farewell Satura Cakes

Green Earth Media: Farewell Satura Cakes: "  Satura Cakes in Ward Centre will be closing its doors tonight for the last time. Another victim of a stalled economy. ..."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Farewell Satura Cakes

Satura Cakes in Ward Centre will be closing its doors tonight for the last time.  Another victim of a stalled economy.  Our daughter Soni has worked there for almost three years.  During that time she’s grown from counter clerk to barista artist and most recently general manager. She’s learned a lot, seen a lot and, along with her fellow employees, created a legacy.  You see, Satura is more than just another coffee shop or chic cafĂ©.  Satura is a community, built the way communities are—through slow, careful tending and deliberate nurturing.  Much like seeds require the right conditions to grow to maturity, a community needs the same.  The soul of a real community emerges from shared time, exchange of stories and a slowly growing foundation of thoughtfulness, civility and love. 

Soni’s Dad and I spent some time at Satura a few days ago sitting innocuously at one of the indoor tables near the counter: a couple of fifty something flies on the wall, looking up every few minutes as a new face entered through the soon to be closed forever front doors.  The warmth was evident as each face was greeted with familiarity and acknowledged with a question about health, well-being, family member, work. The faces were no longer anonymous humans running frantically between errands stopping for a quick jolt of caffeine but rather individuals with feelings, lives and stories of their own. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about an article I recently read describing research on the happiness index here in the U.S. and abroad.  It seems American happiness has leveled off or declined over the past 10 years despite our continual rise in material riches while many other cultures lacking our degree of material prosperity consider themselves happy and fulfilled because they are part of a strong community.  I think it’s because community allows us to tap in to something greater than ourselves which becomes an elixir for contentment and bliss.  Community is about making sure everyone’s taken care of, not just you and yours.  It’s stepping in to help when someone needs it and enlisting others to help, too.  It brings out the best in humanity and everyone benefits.

It’s sad that Satura Cakes is closing but nice to see first hand that building community is possible.  It just requires some old-fashioned ingredients:  time, shared experience, kindness and a willingness to care.