I love my morning cup of Joe. Coffee and I have been friends for almost as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to drink from my parents’ forgotten cups, pretending I was an adult. Coffee was my companion in college, company during late-night cram sessions. Coffee houses were the destination of choice for my friends and me as we spent long evenings having deep, philosophical discussions about life – life we had yet to live. In later years, when Ariel and I got together, there was a progression of caffeinated times and those that were without. When we moved to our Park Avenue apartment in the ‘80s, there was a little bistro downstairs where we would have a morning cappuccino and a croissant or sugary pastry. There were years when we gave it up, but even in those times, Ariel and I still enjoyed the pungent aroma of coffee being freshly ground and brewed.
A few years ago, Ariel and I splurged and bought ourselves a lovely espresso machine that heats our cups, grinds the beans, and makes the espresso as strong or as light as we like. Since I like my espresso strong and hot, I pushed the appropriate button one morning and it pressed out a little cup of my favorite elixir. The cup was small, its contents strong. I took my first sip. Mmmm, hot, delicious – both the ritual of a morning cup and its smell and taste. Cup in hand, I set off to start my day. There were things to do and plans to be made. Shortly thereafter I looked down and magically, my cup was empty. I realized that I’d been lost in thought and tossed the coffee down as if it were water, oblivious to the taste, temperature, texture and the moment itself. My thoughts had been all-consuming and the moment was eaten by their magnetic force.
Smiling down at my cup somewhat wistfully, I realized that enjoyable things cease to be enjoyable if you aren’t there to experience them. I couldn’t go back and taste what I’d already drunk. I could make another cup but the caffeine I’d consumed had already worked its magic and I didn’t need more at that moment. Returning to the kitchen, I washed my cup. It was time to move on with my day. It was a short but sweet reminder that if I don’t want to miss my morning coffee, I need to be there while I’m drinking it, even if I’m not yet fully awake.