my life is full of unsung heroes. take my lungs, for instance. they are constantly working, inhaling and exhaling, stretching, pulling life from my environment and exhausting what i cannot use. if it were not for these lungs causing the rise and fall of my chest every couple of seconds, i would not be where i am today. i mean, every second these puppies are partly responsible for my existence. and yet they receive little thanks. unsung heroes.
equally important as my lungs, there is yet another unsung hero i feel compelled to highlight today:
look at that word just sitting there in its own little space. isn't it beautiful? just reading the word makes me feel like i can smell its roasted goodness. ahhh.
the world drinks more than 500 billion cups of coffee a year(http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/guatemala.mexico/facts.html). we import it into the US at incredible rates. it is a huge global moneymaker.
and yet, for all that, it isn't just fuel. it isn't just a chemical or a necessity. it is, at least to me, beautiful and mysterious and broad. it is a happy drink - i love drinking an iced coffee on a hot summer day, with the windows down and the music blaring. it is a mournful drink - ever notice what funeral homes offer to drink? it is a lonely drink - when i am alone with my journal, all i really want is a cup of coffee. it is a communal drink - there is a turkish proverb that says that a cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.
its at home in a new york deli, next to a breakfast sandwich. its at home during an anxiety-laden wait at the hospital. its at home in the often-refilled mug of a student pulling an all-nighter. its at home at the gas station while you wait for an oil change and flip through a magazine that you would otherwise never look at (car and driver, anyone?). its at home in church social halls and fancy restaurants and construction workers' thermoses. its at home in france, in italy, in japan, in mexico, and in switzerland. it is east coast and west coast, hot and cold, rich and poor, black and light, strong and sweet. and it is my constant pre-lunch companion.
for me, personally, coffee is a friend, a listener, a source of strength and energy. coffee understands. she comforts. she sticks with me. she warms not just my tummy but also my soul. she goes with me on vacation, and even on mission trips. i've had her from a store and from my home and made over a fire. there is many a poem, many a journal entry, and, yes, even many a blog post that would not exist were it not for her beautiful brown companionship. and so, to coffee, unsung hero of my life, i say: thank you. for the memories. for the friends. for the caffeine. for the comfort. for the shakes. for the way you have convinced my brain that i cannot function without you. for how you have been there at all the major moments of my life. thank you. see you in the morning.