Dreams can originate from the most unusual places.
Recently I found myself with friends in a small restaurant tucked away in the mountains of northeastern Alabama. Uneven wooden floors, eclectic art, and strings of clear Christmas lights draped the surrounding walls. We are, indeed, somewhere special.
The waitress introduces us to the owner, a young woman with a story as unusual as her restaurant.
She warm, friendly, and welcoming. Her name, she shares, is Moon.
Conversation flows easily from her. Taking time to visit with each of us, I turn the conversation back her way.
“How did you get into the restaurant business?” I asked.
She smiles and begins telling us her unusual pathway to all of us being in the same room at this point in time.
“I had a vegetable stand and I didn’t want them to go to waste,” she said.
In most places, this explanation might not be plausible. But in this remote, quiet town hiding in the mountains, dreams can sometimes take unusual pathways.
She is fascinating. Moon is her third name – one she collected after living in California for a few years. The second name, also adopted, she created to match the last four digits of her telephone number at the time. Her given name, a traditional Southern two-name combination, today would as ill fit her as that of the coat from a stranger.
In some worlds, the restaurant owner would find herself on the end of curious stares and questions. But here, where her dreams seamlessly meld into a unique culture of art and nature, she compliments her corner of the world.
She’s confidence is infectious. Our waitresses, as well as other employees I meet, draw a powerful spirit of independence from Moon and her dreams. To them, they each play a unique role in this moment.
Our meals are amazing. The kitchen ‘creates’ rather than ‘plates’ an order. With menu options you would never expect in a small mountain town, the combination of creativity being allowed to roam the wooden floors make you forget you’ve left your home zip code.
Dreams come in all shapes, sizes, and timelines. For this restaurant owner, her dream is result of her evolving self, her changing to the world surrounding her. Reinvention, as she’d discovered, is a natural progression of life – and one to be embraced.
I am sure there are many details of her personal journey I could never capture in a table side conversation, however, I am still deeply intrigued. In life we periodically meet people who tend to use the winds of time and changing circumstance to their advantage. For these people, they understand forcing a square block into a round hole is not always the best use of their time. But rather than expend time and effort into an unlikely result, they look both inward and outward for opportunities.
And in this small mountainside community, one person is harvesting their unique talents and energy to change both the life and world around her.