Grace at the Coffee Pot Temple
I woke up just before dawn, as I always do. I have a love affair with the rising sun. Dawn is my center, my energy, my quiet, my calm, my peace. Currently my dawns are 6000 miles from the people, places and things I know. I am leaning into living abroad single, senior and solo for a year. I am a team of one, well
me and my little dog Toby.
My sunrises these days are experienced on the terrace of my flat, four floors up in Saranda Albania. There are three terraces, all with a view of the water. Never in my life, well not before 18 months ago did I ever fathom that I could live by the sea. Ahhh, but how I ended up here is another story and I digress.
Dawn and I, like long yoked partners, have been riding through life for decades. It is my touchstone and here alone in such a beautiful place like Saranda, where dawn comes extremely early it is my peace, it is a balm. Butttttttt..... if you have lived a few years you know in the best of times ....there is fuckery lurking. This fuckery was of my own making and just shitting over my morning chi! Wow, that seems out of left field and it is. Every morning I rise, happy to know I have 2-3 hours of absolute good energy that people spend their life trying to achieve, but I have this one little bit of fuckery that I have to wrestle…daily
I hear others use words like meditation or mind training and I can appreciate that; but those labels diminish what my mornings are. I am in my sixties and can remember waking up early at the house on Sunnyvale; still in the single digits phase of life. I would go outside and lay on the concrete driveway, just as it was starting to warm. I have been in a relationship with dawn/early morning for at least 50+ years. Years before I would learn the word or concept of meditation and eons before mind training.
I am four months into this adventure and I still often feel off-center, not in a negative way, but in the way that my life is deconstructed and foregin . But dawns are the same. I open my eyes in the morning, usually around 0445, just as the first glimmer of light makes its way. I make my way to the kitchen where I stand in front of the American-Drip-Coffee-Pot-Temple that will render a sacred piece of the morning experience.
But therein lies the bullshit that I tolerate in my own life… I have to MAKE the fucking coffee. It is steps, it is thinking, it is a little patch of shade in an otherwise glorious daily grind. I mean really ladies, it is a vibe that just shits on the rest of it.
Yesterday morning was no different. I rose and did the fuckery of the steps of coffee making, all the while conversing with myself, that this is indeed fuckery. Self-imposed fuckery. Continually-accepted, less-than-the-minimum bullshit fuckery and it is my fault... Again I didn't pre-make the coffee! Daily morning internal rant over and I proceed with that cup of nectar to my sunlounger terrace perch.
The light butter color of dawn has passed and the beginning of the bright blue sky of full-day begins to arrive. My nagging self has shut up and my chi has returned. I begin to explore the layers of dawn. With that first light the birds begin to chatter, soon to take flight. The smell of warm baking bread will fill the air. One morning the scent was missing and I wondered if the bread baker knew I missed the aroma like the mother of a kindergartener feels an empty space on the first day of school.
I stare at my little terrace garden with a pleasant emptiness, like the one that settles on your soul as you watch the waves of the ocean. My soul, my dog and I settled into the sunlounger. My stream of consciousness opened and in the coming 90 min I will figure out my day, watch my neighbors rise and sort out any transgressions. Never really aware of it, never forcing it, just being open to it. I have never sought this space, it has been with me always. I realize as I age, as I have found myself here alone what a wonderful skill to possess.
In these meanderings of morning, I never know I have a question until I realize I have an answer. Yesterday’s flitterings settled on self-love. I thought about that Coffee Temple and how I would load it for someone else. It would be a kindness I would extend without thought. Yet scores of years into my Coffee-Temple rituals, I have seldom extended that bit of effort for myself. This is not meant to be a confession of trauma, a real world problem, or earth-shattering over thinking. It is to say that if you can do something so easy to change your thoughts…why not?
You lose your rhythms, touch points and in some ways yourself living solo abroad. I think actually that is what I seek, to be lost, deconstructed and reorganized until I find … I guess what is next.
So yesterday morning when my perch was over, I decided to reconstruct my first piece. I washed out the coffee pot and loaded that Bitch with some serious self-love in the form of dark roast and bottled water. Ready to spew forth, at the mere touch of a button. I smiled with anticipation as my hands readied the pot. A little hug from my day today, sent to my tomorrow self.
And so when I woke this morning, I met the world with Grace at the Coffee Pot Temple.