what fills me first...
In the morning I rise from the solitude of sleep and begin the slow transition toward connection. Coffee helps. Occasionally I heat water, grind beans, and press my own, here on my kitchen counter. I'll pour a steamy, oversized mug and wander out to sit on the garden bench under the cedar tree, breathing ceremoniously.
But more often, I walk to the Madison Park Starbucks one block from my little house. I am usually greeted first by a black labrador loosely tied to the tree. Her tail wags for our ritual ear scratch. I have never met her owner, which makes it our little secret.
Once inside, baristas smile brightly as I walk to the counter. They know more than my name. They say things like, "Good morning, Laura! East Timor Peaberry again today? Or are you trying something new? How's Lucia coming along? How's your niece? How's your dad doing? Any big plans for the weekend?"
I wonder if they know that I come here for more than coffee. Short, sweet, neighborly exchanges overflow with warmth. Words of encouragement reveal genuine curiosity. This is connection. This is what eases the transition from waking to working.
Drinking the rich, deep Reserve I bring home, freshly pressed by a Clover machine and poured with full attention, first into my charcoal gray thermos, then into the cream that lines the bottom of my mug at home...the drinking of the coffee is always part two. The human touch, the nurture in a hello, the grin from behind a pour, these things fill me first.