Each morning I wake up hoping the headlines today will be better than yesterday. That somehow, magically, the world would overturn in a single night. And the words written in the news would rearrange themselves and tell stories of everything good. But unfortunately as I scroll through my newsfeed each morning, the events of today surpass the grim of yesterday, and with each passing day the world seems to lose hope.
In times like these, when finding light at the end of the tunnel feels like a distant reality, I find simple things ground me. The everyday and the mundane protect my sanity now, and finding peace within these is a daily mission. A delightful book, watching my kitchen garden grow or a cup of morning coffee are all the things that I enjoy. My day often begins with a cup of steaming hot coffee. The powerful aroma, the warmth of the cup and the bittersweet taste is what I find my solace in.
Although coffee has been part of my mornings for a while now, it is only recently that it became less of an alarm clock and more of a safety blanket. Each morning, I walk to the kitchen, still in a sleepy daze, and reach out for the jar of coffee stored on a glass shelf. I heat some water and look for my little South Indian filter coffee maker; A tiny steel vessel that is divided into two separate compartments, one to strain the coffee using percolation brewing, and the other to collect the coffee concentrate.
Once the water is hot enough, I add precisely two-and-a-half teaspoons of the ground coffee; a different batch each month, sourced from local sellers, and press the coffee grounds with a pierced pressing disc that has a stem handle. I pour in the hot water, careful not to spill it, close the lid and let the coffee brew. I then look around for my favourite coffee mug, a white one with cats pictured on it, and patiently wait.
Most days the sun is shining brightly. I look out the kitchen window and check on the plants in my kitchen garden. More recently I have been focused on a small pumpkin that seems to be growing, and a bunch of tiny new plants that have sprouted in some pots. The fresh air caresses my face and I hear the sounds of different birds singing, a privilege to have in the city, I remind myself each time. As a few minutes pass, I check on the brew and pour it into my mug.
Once the coffee is poured, I take my warm mug and sit on the couch near the window. As I sip on my beverage, I try to identify the subtle notes it may have. Since each month there is a new batch, it’s almost a game I play, of how many additional notes I can identify correctly. Caramel, oaky, stone fruit, the list goes on. The scent of the fresh brew fills my senses and for that one moment, everything feels alright.
Nothing matters then, except the ultimate reward of sipping on this beautiful cup of coffee that made its way from a distant part of the country, right into my living room. With each little sip, I feel grateful to have a moment to gather my thoughts in times of such turmoil and chaos. And to able to find a glimmer of hope at the bottom of my empty cup.