I’m slightly obsessive about my coffee.
Over the course of our marriage, Karen, along with a close friend, have inspired me to perfect the process. I’ve used various methods of making my morning jolt of caffeine (and occasional afternoon aftershocks), some used by preference, and others by necessity. Even though it’s far from the best-tasting coffee, there have been periods in my life in which I’ve had to regularly be up really early…for work, for rehearsals or performances, for travel. I used to keep a drip brew machine that was programmable during these times. I would grind the coffee the night before and set it up, and when I woke at 0’dark-thirty, the coffee would be waiting for me. I viewed this as survival, what had to be done to get through the day, and returned to my French press on the weekends, or as soon as I could.
For the past few years, since I’ve had the luxury of either working for myself or controlling my own hours, I’ve abandoned this. My morning coffee is now almost a ritual. I grind the beans, boil the water, let it steep for exactly four minutes, in one of a variety of presses that best suit the occasion. Even though I’m apparently quite amusing before my first cup, and even though I must force myself awake before our youngest daughter (a self-proclaimed “morning dove”) rises with the sun, it’s worth the sacrifice. I’ve found there is discipline in waiting for the coffee to be ready, a spiritual gain in not having the instant gratification of it waiting for me as soon as I’m downstairs.
April has stretched on in its usual, quirky New England way. Mornings are still just cold enough to not be comfortable, an annoying fact currently given that I have to go for a run outside when I would usually go to the gym, and, two days before writing this, we woke to snow, only to see 60 degrees and sunshine the following day. Still, the time passes, and I take comfort in that. I patiently await the change in seasons so that our deck furniture can return, and we can enjoy dinners outside. Again, the patience and waiting are good.
There’s nothing that I can do to rush this seasonal change. It will happen in its own time. I am confident…confident that my coffee will be ready when the timer beeps, and that the warmth will break through into our days, bringing vivid, Technicolored flowers in its wake.
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”Psalm 30:5b, NLT
I long for life to return to some form of normalcy. Part of the problem, or at least my problem, with the current state of the world is that we had so little warning as to the massive upheaval that we’re experiencing. It is not, however, apocalyptic. As we are patient, so the seasons will change. The night is difficult, but there will be joy in the morning. Whatever positive may be found in our waiting…and, if you search, there is some…will be worthwhile when we hug our loved ones again, visit our favorite coffee shop, sit down with our friends in person. We don’t walk away from these sorts of events unchanged, any of us. There is, and there will be, grief as we emerge from the other side, that is certain. Our patience, though, as un-naturally as it comes for many, will prove worthwhile. I think that we will see more of the beauty of small things, appreciate time passing outside of our control, not complain about routines that we once hated but now long to return to after they were taken away so abruptly.
Our lives will be better if we let them. That is my prayer for us.