I drink tea.
Every day begins with one cup of Irish Breakfast regular, then another cup of decaf, usually adding hot water to the mug. I switch to Earl Grey. Add more hot water as needed.
Splash of milk, no sugar.
If only for five minutes, I go back to bed, warm mug between my hands, close to my chest. Something about the heat in my hands, the shape and smoothness of the mug. Most mornings, despite the calmness of my bedroom, I wake with a rush of busy-ness in my head. Lists, concerns, what's on the calendar for the week. Sometimes a wave of sadness sweeps over me. My father's laugh. My mother's voice. Yesterday I felt the thump of my old cat, Owen, jumping on the bed and waited for the heavy warmth of his body on mine. But the last time I saw Owen was a year ago.
It was a warm August night.
He loved being outside.
He sat on the steps, looked over his shoulder at me,
then walked into the dusky backyard.
I never saw Owen again.
Something about the boiling water, the same white mug, the steeping of the tea, the holding of the mug, the first sip. The warmth against my solar plexus, cupped hands.
Something about that creates a pause.
The pause says, oh look at the yellow leaves on that tree, of course you miss your mother, father, cat. Where did you go, Owen? Love is the answer. I miss my husband across the country. Yes, you're wondering how this whole thing is going to turn out, breathe, sip, hold me against your heart, fear not, how is this all working out,
you contain everything.
I wrestle with those feelings, get out get out, but some days I'm a warm mug of tea, a spacious container of all this life. I make a little more room.
I drew a little picture of my mug.
I wrote a little story inside the picture.
I sipped my tea