The Magic Coffee
Today, for the first time in a long time, I finished my coffee, while it was still hot.
I am at a cottage for a few days, all by myself. I made myself a coffee and took it down to the dock to sit at the water’s edge to enjoy the quiet and the coffee. And something magical happened.
It is a beautiful day. The temperature of the air is the same temperature of my skin, and there is a soft and steady warm breeze, just faint enough to feel the air circulating around me, but not enough to disturb the glass-like water or the leaves on the trees. The clouds are pure white and puffy hanging in the sky. They are not travelling, but instead forming before my eyes. They are reaching for one another, merging ever so slowly into mountains in the sky. As they merge to become one, the light reflection changes through their density. After a while you can’t see where one starts and the other finishes, they are simply a new creation of beauty as they hang there in the sky. And oh, this coffee is delicious, warm and fragrant as I sip away.
I notice the pristine reflection of the tree line and the cloud formation on the surface of the water. The water is a perfect mirror today, reflecting the green and spattering of red and orange trees that have started to change color with the season, the fluffy clouds and the birds flying overhead. It is mesmerizing to watch uninterrupted and I am convinced that if I took a picture in this moment that you wouldn’t be able to tell which is up and which is down. The aroma of my coffee beckons me to drink again, and I enjoy another sip as I reflect upon the reflection.
It is then that I notice the highway of Whirl-a-gig beetles moving across the surface of the water about 20 feet out from the dock. They are like little watercrafts, creating a small wake as they move…oddly in the same direction. And as I watch fascinated, they reach a point in the cloud reflection upon the water and turn back all moving in the same direction. Thousands of insects creating water traffic, moving along an invisible-to-the-human-eye, water highway back and forth at a pace that only a Whirl-a-gig can travel. The feeling of the mug between my hands feels so inviting and I sip again the delicious blend as I wonder where they are headed or even if it matters?
A spectacular display of strength surfaces the water, and a giant bass flips in the highway of insects. Its splash is noisy to the silence of the lake and is disruptive to the perfect reflection of the clouds and trees upon the water. Its splash of its tail lends me to believe that it was successful in its pursuit. I raise my mug in cheers of its beauty and sip again.
The double winged dragonflies are plentiful, humming, buzzing and flitting about. As one large purple one lands on the support pole of the dock, I notice that its rear right wing is damaged, torn in three places. It rests for a moment and as effortlessly as it lands, it takes flight again with no apparent discourse for its damaged wing. I sip again in recognition of the dragonflies faith and trust in its damaged self.
As if on cue, a painted turtle pokes its head out of the water, and begins to hoist itself upon the low-lying dock. It is about 5-6 inches in diameter, and as he rests his gleaming home in the sunshine, I watch as he yawns and the water dries on his back. He reaches his neck towards the sun, and he too notices the dragonflies as they dip down to investigate his sunbathing perch. I sip slowly, to not give away my presence and acknowledge that he is home, wherever he goes.
Beside me a pinecone falls and rolls to the edge of the dock, where the land meets the wood. And a small spry chipmunk darts out to find the new source of food. She looks questioningly at me, and at her food. Me. Food. Me. Food. I must appear harmless enough as she chooses the food and begins breaking apart the pinecone, collecting what she finds delicious and necessary for her survival. I watch in fascination as she harvests and strips the pinecone in only the way a chipmunk could. I slowly sip my coffee understanding that I am enjoying my coffee as much as she is enjoying her pinecone.
Above me, in the pine tree that overhangs the dock, I can hear chatter. At first I think that there are mice in the tree, and as I look up slowly, so as not to disturb my friends the turtle and the chipmunk, I realize that the conversation that I am now privy to is between two red headed woodpeckers. A sound I have not heard a bird make before. I imagine they are discussing the potential of food within the bark of this particular tree, and they must have agreed it fruitful as they both began, one above the other, hammering their beaks against the bark in a furious way. The knocking sound reflected their determination and also their instinct as they work together collecting what nature is providing. I sip again, in gratitude for the awareness that anything is possible when we follow our inner guidance.
As I look around at my panoramic view of the lake that only I have access to, I realize that I am the outsider, the witness to all the nature around me and I am humbled by natures acceptance of me. I notice the Great Blue Heron on the water’s edge across the lake. The frog on the lily pad to my left, the random small splashes of fish and frogs and turtle surfacing, the chickadees and nuthatches bustling in the branches above me, the ravens above circling the sky and even the spider that crawls from the cracks in the dock. My friend the turtle still lays basking in the sun, and my friend the chipmunk busy away with her pinecone, and the pair of woodpeckers still busy working the bark in the tree above. And I sip away, content with the flow and the beauty of this very moment.
As I marvel at the wonder of it all, the wind shifts. As if to signal that the show is over. The ripples on the lake distort the pristine reflection, and the clouds begin to travel across the sky, covering the sun momentarily. My turtle friend slips into the water, and my chipmunk friend scurries off with the pinecone in her mouth. The woodpeckers take flight and I am reminded of how quickly things change. As I sip my last sip of warm coffee, I am washed with a feeling of peace and quiet an although there is a faint hum of cottage traffic in the distance, I have a sense that this kind of acute awareness, is around us always. It is in our disconnect that we simply miss it.
I am aware that my cup of coffee this morning was mindful. It was meaningful. It was magical. It was more than a cup of coffee. It was made of a blend and comprised of moments that I will not soon forget. Even as I write this, I wonder how can I make every coffee this peaceful?