When you wash your hands, when you make a cup of coffee, when you’re waiting for the elevator – instead of indulging in thinking, these are all opportunities for being there as a still, alert presence. -Eckhart Tolle
Like all the better habits I have, I picked this one up from my father. He would get up between 4:00 and 4:30 of the morning, make coffee, and sit in his recliner in the living room reading his Bible, usually looking over something related to his next sermon. I remember lying in bed, listening to the sound and savoring the aroma of the coffee brewing in the percolator. This was Poppa’s quiet time. Even if we were awake, we knew better than to get up and disturb him. The daily paper would show up around 5 or so and he would then switch over to that about the time he was ready for his second cup. He enjoyed the time he had each morning that was generally undisturbed. There was little chance of the phone ringing. Rarely did anyone knock at that hour, either. This was his time, a moment to clear his head of whatever was leftover from the previous day and mentally prepare for the day ahead.
Poppa understood the inherent value of starting the day with a quiet moment and a good cup of coffee. We wake in the morning, fresh from dreams that likely made little sense, worries left from the previous day, our mind cluttered with the jumble of all we have to do, and if we’re not careful we can too easily find ourselves lost in a sea of confusion and doubt before our day ever begins. Just sitting, in the quiet, with a cup of coffee to warm our throats and clear out the nighttime rust, can completely change our entire outlook and demeanor for the day.
If today’s picture looks familiar, I’ve used a companion shot from the same set earlier this year. Lisa did a great job of capturing a variety of emotions as she sat there with the coffee cup in her hands. I find the shot, in this case, to perfectly capture the peace and calm that comes with morning meditation. There’s nothing else going on, nothing fancy or sparkling to offer a distraction, just a simple moment with a beautiful face and a cup of coffee.
Our world is nothing short of chaotic and our lives are constantly barraged by everything and everyone wanting our attention. Once children and spouses are up and running, finding a moment to one’s self is almost impossible. That first cup of coffee in the morning is our chance to prepare, not to become mired in the challenges of the day, but a moment to just be, to remember who we are, why we are here, and how truly gracious is the gift of life, and coffee. Morning meditation is as important as that first cup, and holds the power to shape our day.