Black Coffee

There is mystery this week in my world. Nothing really earth shattering, but when inexplicable change happens we tend to pay attention. 

After 40+ years as a coffee drinker I have stopped adding cream to my morning cup. I’m not sure how it happened. It would defy logic and befuddle the oddsmakers to think such a change was even possible, but here I am. An enigma for sure. 

It has created a stir in me as I wonder what other change I might be capable of. If you aren’t a coffee drinker you won’t understand this. Even if you are, it might be underwhelming to consider. For me it is a change big enough to note. A sharp right taken off of the path I’d been on. Is it really that easy to consider impossible things ? 

I mean, the (im)possibilities here are endless. 

There have actually been a lot of changes this year. The most notable and probably the most gradual until now has been my sleep pattern. When pain is taken out of the equation, I head to bed just after sunset and rise well before dawn. I have given in to my deep love for twilight but no longer at the expense of feeling rested. I can do both. It will change again through the summer months though I continue to marvel at what my body is capable of. 

I am drinking more water. 
I exercise less but meditate more. 
I wear an ID band now. Yes, really. 
Every time I leave the house. 

I’m not actually “reading” more but I am consuming audiobooks like nobody’s business. 

I do my best to journal. 
And make art. 
And write letters. 

I’m trying to make cards. 

But what other change can happen ? 

I’ve stopped checking news more than twice a day. 

I am giving things away (or using them) rather than shoving them into a box and storing them away for the one day that never comes … (tomorrow)

I think I’m laughing more. 
And listening more. 
And trying harder. 

I’m giving in to joy more often. 
I’m more likely to just go ahead and cry.
I’m taking life in, not shutting it out.  

Maybe taking my coffee black is as much metaphor as anything else. About taking things straight and not trying to alter a thing to make it more palatable. Maybe I’m a purist at heart. Maybe I finally realize cream is bad for me. 

Maybe it is just because my tastes are changing. And now I’m a little underwhelmed by the idea too. 

Luckily, the sun still rose today. It is my touchstone. Something sure and reliable. The swallows have returned and the refuge is showing signs of spring everywhere. The wrens were all a-flutter this morning, singing and darting about. I never thought I’d be a birder/photographer but look at me now. Black coffee and feathered friends. Impossible things happen every day.

Marsh wrens in beautiful song
Brown creeper

13 Comments on “Black Coffee

  1. Black, always but that could change some day?!? I don’t really move without 2 cups of coffee in the morning 🙂

  2. Did you ever “read” or listen to the novel The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker? It’s about the extraordinary effects of small changes.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I just got the audio version from the library. I am waiting patiently for The Overstory and have been listening to Walden (again) on my daily drives. This book sounds fascinating ! 

  3. I find myself continually amazed, for better and worse, at this whole getting older thing. It IS subtle! You go about your day and realize something is slightly changed and you’re not sure how. I never thought I’d be interested in birds, but here I am, leaving a peanut out for the jay and hoping he’ll come a little closer. Love our LBBs. And the fact that they have their own TLA. Yesterday I upgraded our binoculars. Oh. And I went black 10 years ago and never looked back.

    • I just read an article about how many people discovered birdwatching during the pandemic. I talked with a man I met at the refuge yesterday about this very thing. The subtle changes with age and our deepening appreciation and connection to the natural world. He asked for my number and I gave it to him. Now there’s something I wouldn’t have done even a year ago ! Good luck with jay … I love them *almost* as much as the LBB’s. 

  4. Well… A week ago I took a similar right turn after 40 yrs of a daily shot of caffeine… I started drinking decaf!!!

    I noticed over the last year that writing after a hot cuppa in the morning made my thoughts collide and my handwriting squirrelly. And sleep patterns were getting erratic, altho 180* from yours… And it is rare I ever even finish a cup!

    So this week I bought a pound of decaf beans… we will see. *

    • WooHoo ! Here’s to teaching us old dogs new tricks ! Mine was a really subtle change. I’ve been drinking two espressos in the morning and it feels right. Actually reminds me of my chef days … Good luck and thanks for being here !

  5. My great grandmother immigrated to this country from Sweden by herself at the age of eighteen. When we would visit her home in Emmett, Idaho we were treated to a little bit of coffee with our cream and sugar. The coffee was made in a percolator on the top of her wood stove. We were given a delicate china cup and saucer for the bit of coffee with cream and sugar. Cookies and fresh bread came from her wood stove oven. I never thought I would even like coffee as an adult, but now my coffee at home is without milk or sugar. A latte from a favorite coffee shop is still a treat though. Being outside to enjoy the art of nature is also a ‘sweet treat’ that I wouldn’t do without on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing today’s gifts of art!

    • Ohhh, percolator coffee with too much sugar and cream. That’s quite familiar ! Those are wonderful memories. I’ve taken some china out of the cupboard and used it for a special occasion. No sense keeping it locked up. It was a lovely morning with you two and I am so grateful for the gloves ! Yes, nature’s art … I couldn’t do without it either.

  6. So you’ve gone to the dark side?

    Laugh more. Cry more. Love more! It’s all good. Gotta make the most of our time and savor the coffee, with or without fillers. 😎


    • You always knew it would happen, right ? It can’t be just Love Channel 24/7. I am sooo with you on the laugh, cry and love more. Life is short. I’m so glad you’re here ❤❤

  7. Black coffee. Wow! Where would that leave a latte? (I actually don’t like cream, I use milk.) You know what I think I most love about your bird photographs? Besides everything, I mean? You make even LBBs beautiful. It so easy to overlook them; but up close—through your lens—they are amazing!

    • Right ? Crazy. I still might enjoy a latte as a treat. I’m so glad you appreciate the LBB’s. The reward for a little patience with them is enormous. I love them so much. Thanks for the encouragement my friend. I am grateful.

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