Written by Airship's Culture & Community Coordinator, Haven Brown.
Winter arrives, coaxing our garage door closed, depositing heavy coats onto the backs of cafe chairs, and summoning the sound of milk steaming from behind the bar. These first few bitter months of cold in Arkansas don’t mess around, and it can be tempting to wait for better days while arming ourselves with a head-down, armor-on mentality. But in the cafe, after a few moments of delicious ASMR and automatic heating, it’s easier to gain perspective: this is a season. Winter, like all seasons, is meant to be connected with and appreciated for what it offers.
Before you ever meet an awesome new staff member behind the bar, you can be sure that they’ve experienced a unique mindset training, designed to invite them into a perspective of belonging, awareness, and vision for their time with Airship. We call this the “Elevated Perspective”, or, in other words, the ability to envision one’s circumstances as a story with a trajectory. The perspective asks three questions:
Where have you been? Where are you now? Where are you going?
The truth is, as much work as we do to make our mission statement a reality, so much of “making a place where authentic community thrives” depends on the individuals within that community knowing themselves, trusting themselves, and having the courage to show up as they are. This is something we want for our staff, but this is definitely something that we want for each and every one of you as well. When individuals in a community have the space and vision to reflect on themselves, the whole group is better for it.
Where have you been before this season? While we were training our staff, shipping our coffee to new places, and connecting with you at our new space in the woods, what were you doing? What were you accomplishing, plotting, fighting, and learning?
Where are you now? Are you new to the area, struggling with your health, or settling into a routine? Are you finding it harder to connect with others, or easier? In Winter, it can be difficult to see the good, much less share it, but it can also be a time of intense reflection and an opportunity to lean into routine. We recognize that our cafes are a regular stop in many of your routines, where you come to connect and fuel up, which is why we’re stocking the cafes with new options that prioritize your nutrition and immunity. Hopefully, these will help to keep you afloat and give you the strength to lean into the hard things this season.
So where are we going? With any luck, we’ll make it through Winter! And we’ll do it with the groundedness and synergy that comes from accepting where we’ve been and where we are as opportunities to know ourselves better and show up in our community. Big things are on the horizon, and when they present themselves, we’ll be ready to meet them as we are.
In the dead of this cold, know that this season of your story is just as meaningful as any other, even if it doesn’t feel like it. In the meantime, our cafes are open and our coffee is fresh.
Upward and Onward,