If I don’t pay close attention, they happily run my life. These intruders interfere with the clear vision of my work at hand.
I get up behind the desk, step out of the room.
Where does this odor come from?
Like a hound on a mission, pulled by invisible strings, my nose leads me into the kitchen.
There is an open container filled with dark brown beans. Someone forgot to close it. A grunt of disapproval slips my throat. I stop my motion to close the lid half way.
Taste buds dance in joyful anticipation. Saliva flows at the sight of the coffee machine.
Every thought is pushed aside. The espresso machine waves its magic wand. Mind has a new task. A mundane form of meditation begins.
Like a reflex, my finger pushes the on-switch.
Focus turns to the unsealed container. I lower my nose. Breathe in deeply.
These evenly-shaped beans tease my senses. I look at them. In amazement and gratitude. I wonder how many hands it took to cultivate, harvest, and ship these little miracles. For the single purpose of granting someone a sensory pleasure. I send a warm Thank you! to all those hard-working souls.
Next step: coffee grinder. I fill it to the brim with beans. Within 20 seconds, the machine turns them into coarse dust. I open the grinder. All sensory cells tumble with excitement. I ladle a few spoons of the ebony powder into the filter. Like an experienced barista, I level the tiny mound with the T-shaped end of the ladle. Screw the filter tightly back in its place.
I open a cupboard. Take out my favorite cup and saucer. Vibrant yellow, orange and red display an expressionistic flower design. There is a small inscription on the upper quarter of the cup’s interior: Caffé al volo. Coffee in flight in English.
The simple sight of it catapults me back in time. A kaleidoscope of memories flashes:
Medieval Italian marketplaces, narrow sun-flooded side streets, wobbly chairs on cobblestone squeezed into the shade of surrounding buildings. Sipping espresso standing or seated for a few minutes. Caffé al volo. A brief pause on the way to or from work. A tiny break to breathe deeply. Pleasure of indulgence. Joy of just being.
Comfort takes hold of me. Mind wants to drift deeper into the past. I catch myself and focus again. Pour one and a half teaspoons of sugar crystals into the cup. Place it under the dispenser.
I turn the switch, mesmerized by what happens next:
Two small streams gurgle out of the machine into the waiting cup. Foam forms on the surface. The shape of two eyes appears. Warm steam rises, cleanses my face. When the liquid covers the writing inside the cup, I stop the machine. Like an afterthought, two or three droplets complete the foamy goggle eyes.
I carry the precious liquid to my favorite spot and sit down. For my own amusement, I look closely, from all angles at the changing shapes in the foam. I take the spoon, turn it upside down and draw with its tip a heart into the foam. A gift to myself.
Time to indulge. A reward for patient taste buds.
Two or three sips of this slightly bitter drink never fail to pull me into the present moment. The unique taste lingers long after the liquid left my throat.
I stay seated for a few more seconds.
Energy revives my system.
I get up.
Time to go back to work.
My windshield is clean again.
About the author
Anja Kerstin Kuentzel,
Advanced Grief Recovery Method specialist, nature lover, photographer, and bilingual wordsmith combines her passions to offer a different perspective on life that might inspire, raise awareness or even heal.