COLD Weather, it seems, cloaks so much of our Country in wet, icy mists, snow, and plump downpours. Here in Sonoma, windy rains woke me early. Streaming water down windows somehow still aglow by an almost-full moon. Our vineyards (in barren-winter garb) presenting rippled puddles of blue rain water. And little else. While rose fields — soon to be replanted as Pinot Noir — looked on silently.
On this Farm, sometimes the loudest, most unconscious thoughts happen when there is no noise at all. Waking your soul, and heart, but not your mind. When you only got up intending to pee.
The Mind? Takes Coffee.
I crept downstairs avoiding that creaky step. Lit my tea pot. Pet our happily fat Lab. Flipped on my pretty lights over the sink and started another load of laundry. (We have little children.) Three scoops of coffee went into the French Press…I lit the fireplace. And chose my grandmother’s mug…
It’s now Noon. Much has happened since easing into this morning’s caffeine ritual. Breakfast, more laundry, marketing, wrangling wee hellions into proper clothes… But here I sit once more. Slightly ignoring my children. Sipping hot tea. In the same kitchen chair, out of the same mug, with rains still streaming. Thinking of family, kitchens, and morning rituals past. Of my Mima sipping Folgers Crystals instant coffee. Dad Richard brewing drip. Mom preferring tea at the time. My father’s parents cooking thick ham. Dad reheating coffee brewed day before to pair with fresh baked pastry… All with eggs on the horizon.
And all gone now. “Into the Sunset” as we explain to the kids…
How tender and most intimate these early kitchen rituals. How they linger. Surprising we the Living even from the lull of raindrops and starkly rich vineyards… An agrarian Life that only Mom got to see. That only Mom got to become a “LaLa” and make new memories for my children here in this most bucolic of Wine Country. For now, Anni with her eggs and Coltrane with his toast.
… And I’m sure in time, Coffee.