I woke up this morning feeling a little incomplete and maybe even a little misplaced. Then I realized that by leaving a little early last night, I hadn’t really found closure to my last night at Seva CafÃ©.
As a first year college student, it’s become clear to me that “home” is constantly redefining itself. Life has been so transitionary that a place of consistency, comfort, freedom, and love is undoubtedly sacred. By these standards, Seva CafÃ© was the only place I could truly consider home.
I’ll always remember my first night at Seva. It was a whole new experience for me then, but in retrospect I could see how it may have just been a typical Saturday night for anyone else there:Â The immediate warmth of the volunteers had ignited a pervading sense of compassion.Â Every action carried out that night by each person was an act of love. Â Typical, right? Yet despite this, it wasnâ€™t just any Saturday night at Seva because it was Julio and Dustin’s birthday.Â The place was bustling with contagious energy.Â Everyone from ages two to seventy was busy giving part of themselves to add something beautiful for the transformation of a local cafe into a loving home.Â Colorful hand-made posters covering the walls, balloons hanging playfully from the counter, Seva scarves elegantly draping the doors to convey one single message: that tonight, we are all here for you, Julio. Never had a birthday party so successfully celebrated life.Â
Here I am, nearly two months later, and Seva CafÃ© continues to glow with the same relentless energy, the same effervescent love.Â Itâ€™s another Saturday and coincidentally another birthday.Â Volunteers and guests are in their usual bustle of freely swirling love and light. Yet the simple joy for life has escalated to an entirely new meaning because as volunteers pour their hearts into every cup they serve and dancers freely express their passion for life, drummers tap into the very essence of Seva CafÃ©: uniting everyoneâ€™s heart to beat as one.Â From cooking and cleaning to caring and creating, everyoneâ€™s hands working toward some selfless act of service, some awe-inspiring form of seva.Â Â
That first night, I entered through the doors of the Royal Cup as a complete stranger, and last night, I left the doors of Seva CafÃ© as a family memberâ€¦but I did not know how to say goodbye.Â I have a feeling that this sense of incompleteness would have continued had not an act of fate quietly interrupted.Â I was blessed enough to see many of you at the flamenco show today, and it truly was like seeing family.Â Having lunch with you was a gentle reminder that â€œhomeâ€ is not defined by the physical structure of four walls as it in fact never was.Â On the contrary, home is relative.Â If you can excuse the triteness of the quote, home is where the heart is, and today I found my home within all of you.Â
So, to all of you who have so warmly opened your hearts to me, to all of you whose sole purpose in life is to cultivate love: thank youâ€¦because I woke up this morning feeling somewhat lost, but Iâ€™ll go to sleep tonight knowing that you have helped me find my way home.Â
Much love and many hugs,Â