Keeping things simple is my motto. Frugal living goes right along with this notion and I try to be as practical as possible. I rarely grocery shop without a list and I know exactly how much I will spend on food each week. Extravagance I save for books, art supplies and the occasional meal at a restaurant with a good friend. And then there is coffee.
If I am to live by these self-appointed rules, driving to the corner store for coffee in the morning makes no practical sense at all. I made my own coffee for almost two years. The ritual was pleasant enough. I purchased an hour-glass brewer with cloth filter and felt quite good about the simplicity of this system, but I did not enjoy the coffee. Gourmet beans did not make it any more enjoyable. It took me a long time to figure out what was amiss.
One simple question solved the mystery: Why do I enjoy coffee from the neighborhood gas station more than the ritual-rich gourmet coffee I make at home?
You’d think that home-brewed coffee makes perfect sense for this hermit at heart, but in fact it makes no sense at all. While I thoroughly savor each solitary sip I take as I begin my work once I return home with the soothing beverage, it is all the more enjoyable since fetching it at a local deli means beginning the day with the warm greeting and playfulness of familiar faces. Simple pleasures.
Connection with others does not have to be elaborate to provide the sort of grounding experience that sets the tone for feeling at peace with the world. The brief morning encounters provided by the simple act of getting coffee at the corner store is reminiscent of the old photographs of men chatting at the local general store. This gathering provided necessary healing and uplifting communion.
I find that I do my best work when I let go of self-imposed, rigid practical rules of time and money management, and make room for connection and new ways of doing things that nurture my spirit instead.
Just completed: Paper-mâché and twine llama.