“It is always nice to see you,” I say to a regular customer as I take his plate after a good late afternoon lunch. “It is always nice to perceive you,” he replies as his seeing-eye dog stands to attention and readies for the door.
Not quite young, not quite old, I find myself in Cisco. I find myself every day, hoping not to get lost again in the daily-ness of hours. Fascinating things happen, conversations stir souls – and I cannot help but wonder: have these things been happening every day of my life or is it something magical about our little coffee shop?
Part of me wants to believe the shop is a mystical oasis where magic happens, but deep inside I know that life provides equal mystery and miracle every day (whether we notice it or not). This is the difference between sight and perception. Our eyes and brain are trained to acclimate to things that do not change. But what happens when you look at a miracle every day? Does it become ordinary? A beautiful diamond – does it become another rock? A beautiful wife? Growing child?
When we first moved here three years ago, we heard it time and time again that Cisco was just a dried up little town – mostly by people who have lived here for a long time. I beg to disagree.
What a quaint place it is, with individuals volunteering time and energy to getting lights up downtown, putting out scarecrows, decorating their houses for Halloween and Christmas. Every other person we meet seems to be fixing up an old house, and if they are not they are likely a shy musician, published poet, or creative artist. Local business-people compete honestly with the surrounding corporations, and the populace seems sensitive to the importance of supporting their neighbors. Not only are the public schools known for excellence, but the community also has outlets for quality pre-schools and college.
Are you starting to question the long held belief that it is a dried up town? Brief illusion of a change of subject: what happens to your lawn after not watering it through a dry spell? It dies. No – more than likely it merely goes dormant. Dormant grass comes back much stronger than if you offer even sparsely regular watering.
Having fresh eyes, and being somewhat in the middle of town talk, I can tell you that there is a sleeping giant within this town. Between the forward thinking entrepreneurs and the business savvy at the Economic Development Corporation, Cisco is becoming a poster child for small towns trying to find themselves again.
We have a rich history here that goes far beyond the limelight of Conrad Hilton – and if you have not visited the museum in the old Mobley (or the one in the old City Hall) it would be worth your while to set a Saturday aside to enrich your awareness of local heritage. Innovation, artistry, music, and unique businesses are part of Cisco’s tradition, and each are alive and well today.
So, if you’re reading this with your usual eyes in your usual spot with your usual mind, I pray you walk to the window and look outside. There is an amazing world outside with extraordinary things going on. Miracles walk by regularly, and soul stirring conversations are waiting to be invited out.
Our lives may remain unchanged in these instances, but that does not mean our eyes do not need a good rubbing. I will be here watching Cisco from the windows of Waverly’s, and I look forward to perceiving you.