half way through last week i was rather adventure-deprived. i ran into hannah and nina on my way to the library and as we mused over the dull grey winter and the need to see things with fresh eyes, we decided an adventure was in order to help us practice. so we planned a trip to marty's donut land for the weekend and walked into the rest of the week with great anticipation.
i had never been to marty's donut land before, but doesn't the name just make you really want to go check it out? haha i mean really - donut land. say that without a really funny mental picture of donuts with arms and legs playing in rolling hills pop into your mind. so what had i heard about this place before we went?
i heard you go and knock on the door of this mysterious shop between 11pm and 5am (because that's when "the guy" makes donuts) even though all the lights in the shop are out.
i heard that then a man would open the door and let you get some fresh donuts in exchange for a dollar.
sounded weird and adventurous enough to me.
so on saturday night around 11:45, myself and nine others set out to find marty's donut land. two parking spaces greeted us directly across from the donut shop - the shop that looked closed save for the warm light of the kitchen protruding from the back of the store. as told, we approached the door and knocked. lo and behold mr. donut baker himself came and unlocked the door for us without saying a word. all ten of us shuffled inside as the door locked behind us again. we took turns going back to the kitchen. (where the donut making continued) one by one we placed a dollar into a little bowl and then carefully selected a donut. we apologized with stumble-y words, apologized for being such a large group in such a tiny and quaint place, to which the man (whose name begins with a v...) replied with some more broken words saying something along the lines of "don't worry, i don't want to be alone all night."
and so we sat at the counter in the dark, enjoying and savoring the best donuts we have ever tasted in our entire lives. we sat and carefully tasted each bite as country music played in the kitchen and mr.v continued his repetitive donut making over and over and over and over.
so why this story? seemingly silly and perhaps sketchy?
because this experience filled me with hope, a hope that no words can adequately depict. in a world full of so many people who fail to trust one another, a world full of hurt and pain and unexpected brokenness, in a world where marty's donut land sounds "sketchy"... in a world where you are urged not to walk outside by yourself through that dark alley, or fly to another country alone, or road trip across the US without a buddy ... in a world where we see each other as enemies more so than neighbors, this little donut shop was a safe haven. it was home, in a sense. this donut shop gave me hope that people still trust each other. it gave me great hope that this happens each night, that people knock on the door - and slowly and quietly it's opened - that donuts are taken and money is always put in that bowl... there's no reason not to trust the secret beautiful system of midnight donuts. there's no reason to stop. there's no reason to fear. there's no reason not to knock on that door, not to go in silently and eat a donut in the dark.
marty's donut land reminded me of the good side of humanity. the side that is beautiful and loving and wonderful. it reminded me that we have the capacity and ability to trust one another - and when that happens, beauty untold marches boldly into our lives.
[if you come visit we can go. you can eat a midnight donut and know why this place is magical. you'll then know why it inspires you to talk about your wildest dreams. you'll know why it would be the perfect spot for a date. you'll know why it feels like going home. ok? cool. tell me when you're coming.]