Originally published 09.13.2016
Many years ago, I recall listening to a segment on CBC radio on the future of the Jewish faith. Etched in my memory is a comment from one of the interviewees sharing the perspective he gained from his grandmother – every moment of life is sacred.
Since I made the commitment to myself to write this blog, I have been contemplating on the rituals of my day for where there might be an opportunity for mindfulness….. and sacredness that I am missing because I am not paying attention.
Almost every day I make a cup of coffee in the morning. Many mornings I do this task mindlessly, my brain whirling around as I think about the day ahead or fuss about something that happened the day before. It takes only minutes and is something I get joy from when I pause to be aware of the subtleties of each step.
I am a tad particular about my coffee and that shapes my habits. I use my much-loved stovetop stainless-steel espresso maker from the renowned Lina’s Italian Market in Calgary. The solidness of the stainless steel provides ballast to my routine. As I rinse it out, I breathe in faint scents from yesterday’s brew. I catch the softest melodic sound as the water fills the reservoir. The scent of the ground coffee catches me every time (even when I’m rushing) and pulls me into the here and now. It brings me a moment of bliss even before I have even raised my cup to my lips. For years I have been enamoured with the Espresso Blend from Balzac’s Coffee Roasters. I appreciate the artistry and attention to details that goes into their entire process. Perhaps another form of mindfulness?
My recent musings have highlighted the missed opportunity of this morning ritual – the time the espresso maker is on the stove. Usually, I pop it on the burner and rush off to fit in another quick task until I hear the ending gurgles and sputters that signal the coffee is almost ready. My aim now is to lean against the counter and use those few minutes to slow down my brain and breathing. When I pull this off, I am present enough to savour the velvety dark colour, the babble of the coffee rising up the sides of my cup, how the design of my cup pleases my sense of aesthetic, and the rousing aroma promising the taste of my first sip. And if I sit down to drink my coffee and actually notice the flavour of each mouthful, I am much more likely to have a smile on my face as I finish my morning routine and a peaceful feeling that there is room for beauty, flavour, joy, and sacredness in this world.
Maybe, I will go and make another cup……