It was one of those days that had me wishing the pain others carry didn’t touch me so deeply. Driving along a beach road, the scent of rosa rugosa infusing the breezes, the pain in our world began to ebb. My Spotify list switched to the next song and cued up Eve of Destruction, a 60’s activist song.

War, fear, hate, pollution, the worst of humanity filled my ears. In a cruel joke, my finger frenetically pushed next track without the desired response. The magic of the off button saved the day, finally. But, alas, a fog had descended, reaching its gray tentacles into my spirit.

Letting the car wander, taking me where fate wanted, I followed some unbeknownst lead and ended up in a parking lot, near the back, in front of a row of wooden buildings housing small businesses: Rocco’s, my favorite pizza place, an architect I know-nothing about and, in between, Catboat Coffee, a spot I’ve been meaning try.

While I know a catboat is a sailing vessel, that’s the extent of my knowing. What I do know is that coffee places are dear to me. For decades before my Daddy died we loved going out for coffee to small local places.

Walking across the deck boards trying to decide what to order, I placed my hand on the doorknob directly in front of me. Just 10 to 15 feet away stood two men, both wearing warm smiles, exuding welcome. Behind them the menu board hung. The words, Rose Latte, spoke to me.

Enticing scents of Lebanese goodies and delicious food filled the air. Presenting me with the latte, the proprietor asked will there be anything else I can offer you? Looking at the leaf carved in my foamy latte I felt the magic of my beloved beech trees. I replied, no thank you, this is perfect.

Sitting on the narrow deck, sea breeze caressing my sagging spirit, delicate rose scent and ever so subtle flavor fill my nose, my mouth, my heart — the spirit fog lifted.

Stepping back inside I asked for a chicken shawarma, knowing I needed more time in this space, this place. Eating my food a few minutes later I could taste the kindness in each bite. This place, Catboat Coffee, was, is, an oasis.

Walking back towards my car I know I’ll return often to this oasis I found on this Island. When I started the car Spotify cued up. Before I could press off, the song Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw started. Memories of my Daddy’s words came to me. When I was feeling overwhelmed or hurt by insensitivity he, while hugging me, would say, “Oh sweetie, I know sometimes life and the world is hurtful but it’s the same heart, yours that can also feel the joy and tenderness.”

Ah, yes, where would my life be without my Daddy? Where would that day be without Catboat Coffee? Where would any of us be without an oasis when we need it most?

Susan Desmarais lives in Oak Bluffs.