, Gloucester, MA


June 28, 2013

Finding permanence in fleeting moments

It is 3:14 a.m. and I wish I could go back to sleep. My eyes do their part, closing out the vaguely visible silhouette of the tall familiar pines beyond the high window in our bedroom. But my mind continues to race, screaming its silent message to my eyes: “Forget it; she’s wide-awake. She got an early start on her seven hours’ sleep last night.”

I swing my legs over the side of the bed, stand up, and am pleased to note that my lower back does not hurt today. Navigating through the dark as if by radar, I do not stumble against a chair or table or doorjamb. Although I can’t see them, I know by their dizzying scent that the dozen voluptuous deep-pink roses my brother-in-law brought three days ago have opened more fully during the night. Each day, they show themselves to be different roses, changed in color, shape, density, intensity of scent.

In the kitchen, I see that my husband did double duty last night after I fell asleep so early (he always cooks dinner; I clean up). I prepare to make the coffee. Even after 45 years of making morning coffee, there is still that sudden, pleasing, aromatic rush as I peel off the plastic cover of the coffee can or pull off the tight oval top if I’m grinding the beans myself. I can’t suppress a smile.

Today the self-important Cuisinart (with its too many options) begins its job of brewing the coffee. Boiling water drips into the little wire basket, saturating the scoops of coffee I have measured, rendering them a thick muck. The machine wheezes, gurgles, hisses angrily as if there’s a fierce internal fight going on. Then it relaxes and the finished product begins to drip gently and fluently into the waiting carafe below.

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