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But First, Coffee

It may sound silly or self-indulgent, but coffee has become my anchor. It centers me, any time of day. What used to be a rushed part of my morning routine is now a moment of calm in a sea of chaos. Sanctuary in a cup. And it’s an essential element when contemplating a blank screen! This photo was taken during a trip to Barcelona several years ago. We were meandering among the historic alleyways of the Gothic Quarter and stepped into a café called Satan’s Coffee Corner. This was the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had.

Who writes about coffee when disasters seem to be lurking around every corner? Typhoons and hurricanes, catastrophic flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, drought and sea level rise, to say nothing of human-caused tragedies such as the ongoing war in Ukraine, reversal of Roe vs. Wade, treatment of migrants as political pawns, increasing poverty and homelessness.

There’s a post-pandemic edginess out there that’s almost palpable. I see it in the way people interact with each other and in more aggressive driving behavior on the road. Last week, we had a small earthquake in our area. An app on my phone sounded a loud alarm about five seconds before it struck. Now that I know it works, I’m waiting for the next one and wondering where I’ll be when it comes.

Yesterday morning, after my cup, I took a walk up our long driveway. We’d had an early rain the day before and the air was fresh and clear. I stopped at the fence to watch our neighbor’s four young calves. One of them finally worked up enough courage to come close. Maybe it was curious about the apple I was eating. I offered my empty hand through the fence. The doe-eyed calf leaned forward and tentatively licked my fingers. A small blessing in an anxious world.

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