Three Bagels

Three Bagels

Christmas Eve morning and I’ve set off to begin my day. I’d planned to stop at a City Cafe for wood fired bagels. Just three, as a treat (along with the many other treats) for over the holidays.

I open the door to the bakery and the place is crammed with bodies. I scoot around to the far side where there is a pocket of space to get to the box that holds the bagels and then I realize all these people are in line for bagels and the box is empty.

Back I go to take my place in line with empty brown bag in hand. Where my original choice begins to wobble. I only wanted three, is it really worth it?

And then I hear from myself, “Yes it is, just wait.”

The room is warm from the open oven, the smell of fresh bread, flour misting through the air, the radio playing a choir singing Christmas carols fills the space that is left and everyone waits patiently. For a moment from observing those ahead of me who are already sporting full bags, I think, “Bagel Hoarders.”

And then I hear from myself, “It doesn’t matter.”

And it doesn’t.

We will all get what we need, in due time.

I remain to stand and take it in.

The woman making the bagels appears oblivious to the throngs of bagel lovers standing with open bags, watching her every move, monitoring her. Is she good at what she does, is she fast enough, how does she know when they are done, there’s no timer going off, is she doing it right? Her expression is void of any expression. Does she care?

And then I realize, she is in her zone.  She is where she needs to be. She is making bagels and she knows exactly what she is doing.  She’s wearing a black sweatshirt with Japanese characters on the sleeves and then on the right side of her chest is the word “Balance.” This says it all.

Regardless of what is going on around her. She is maintaining her balance.  Bagels are baking, she stokes the fire, adds wood, wipes her table clean, replenishes her container with sesame seeds, stretches the dough, submerges the next batch in oil, rolls them in the seeds and they are ready for the oven.

She never looks up, she never breaks pace, she never engages.  She is not effected by the many empty bags, the eyes upon her, the thoughts of those who are thinking they just want their bagels so they can get on with their day. 

It’s good to wait sometimes. Which in truth is just being where you are, being present. To trust that what is right will come to you, in the right time and the right place. Fearing you’ll miss out, that someone will beat you to it, that there won’t be enough for you is what will attract this very reality.

Calmly being, allowing your senses to take in your surroundings, trusting that the waiting is exactly what you are meant to be doing.

I’m at the front of the line and tongs in hand, I slip three hot bagels into the paper bag.

It’s snowing, it’s Christmas. Standing in line watching the lady with “Balance” on her sweat shirt bake bagels, while I listened to carols and felt the heat of the oven on my face, was exactly where I was meant to be.

Photos: Internet Stock


  1. Did you purchase more than three bagels? I’ll bet every bite has been great! My best wishes for a healthy, happy 2019 to you and yours.

    • No – I stuck with my three bagels. They were delicious.
      I wish for you a great year as well!

  2. I always enjoy the read. Thank you. I’d say I hope you are well…but I’m sure you are.

    • So good to hear from you Sheri!
      Thank you for continuing to read.

  3. I love this!

    • Thank you Sheila,
      To an amazing new year!

  4. Thank you Sharon for all your notes. I really enjoy reading them.

    Hope you have a healthy and blessed New Year

    Love Noreen

    • Hi Noreen,
      So good to hear from you. I hope the same for you. To an amazing 2019!
      Enjoy it all!


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