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A Hill of Beans

She heard the crash and jerked her head jerked up just in time to see a young waitress fighting off tears as the jar of coffee beans shattered on the concrete. She suppressed a giggle as customers jumped from their wrought iron sidewalk seats, some to help the horrified young girl and some to prevent an expresso flavored friend from jumping unexpectedly into their overpriced purse or expensive laden shopping bag. She inhaled the aroma as the smell of the fallen beans wafted past her on the breeze of the afternoon.

She returned her eyes to the blank paper of her traveler’s journal, partially thankful for the distraction and partially dreading the return to a mind that seemed as blank as the page before her. Three weeks. Three weeks she had been surrounded by beauty and journeys and new and exciting—well—everything, and not one word of inspiration had crossed her brow. Not one grand idea, not one poem, not even one rant. Nothing. The absence of something to say had rarely plagued her. A loss of words was the opposite description that most anyone who knew her would use. Yet in this moment of which she had every opportunity, every possibility, every chance to say anything, she could think of nothing to say.

She closed her book and her eyes as she sighed in defeat. Not every day is a sermon on the mount. She stood, gathered her things, and decided it was okay for today to just be okay.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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