I’ve had this idea for a poem I want to write for months now. I want to capture the simple peace and joy of sipping coffee on my porch as early morning sunlight beams down on me. Since I have no deadlines and I want to savor the moment before I capture it, I’ve been waiting for my next chance to do that. Unfortunately, due to various complications, I haven’t actually had such a morning in a long while.
The initial barrier is the weekends. The only days I really have the time for that now that I’m no longer working from home are Saturdays and Sundays. There have been many weekday mornings that might have been appropriate, but knowing I have somewhere to be and work to do makes it difficult to appreciate the sprinkling of sunlight through the scattered leaves on the trees outside my door.
The other problem with weekends is that those have frequently become days I sleep in to help mititgate whatever sleep I’m not getting during the week as I do my best to stay on a schedule. If I wake up at nine or ten, all the early morning sunlight has been replaced by the lazy, heady sunlight of late mornings as the sun delays the climb to its daily summit. Hardly appropriate for basking with coffee. This kind of sunlight demands a lemonade or iced beverage and the poem needs warm coffee so I can write about the balance of warmth, inside and out as the sun and coffee compete for my appreciation.
Beyond just the general limitation of my days, the weather’s been incredibly varied lately, so I rarely get mornings that fit the bill. Mostly, they’re too cloudy or incredibly humid. I can’t write about the steady, warm light of the morning sun warming my sleep-stiffened muscles as I bask in the cool morning breeze that wipes the last dregs of sleep from my eyes if it’s cloudy or humid! I need a good consistent bit of sunlight to properly appreciate it, not just what bits leak through the clouds while I try to avoid sweating from the disgusting humidity of these grey and gloomy Wisconsin mornings.
The coffee is never the problem, though. I’ve come to accept the bitter place it holds in my life and even begun to appreciate the acerbic assertions of my particular blend and brew, and since I’m nothing if not a creature of habit, I can consistently make it to my (admittedly low) standard every time. But a lot of these very warm mornings mean it takes a long time to cool down enough to appreciate, and all the surprisingly cold mornings we’ve had lately mean I get too focused on the warmth the coffee provides rather than being able to find that moment of perfect balance between sun and sip.
Even this morning, as I tried to find the appropriate level of peace and mental aptitude for writing a poem about appreciating two of the most positive staples of my life, the sun vanished behind the clouds, the humidity of the day rose like the call of cicadas on a warm summer evening, and my coffee sat like a scalding lump at my side, unapproachable and taciturn.
But I am a thrifty man. I can recognize when the spark I need to complete a poem is missing and create a new way to let my creativity flow. This morning’s reflection and mental preparation did not go to waste, even if the sun and my STILL too warm coffee refused to cooperate. I hope your morning is going as well as mine is, and that your coffee is at the perfect drinking temperature. Now, please excuse my while I go put a single ice cube in mine so I can meet the needs of my caffeine addiction.