Monday, June 07, 2010

30 Days of Smelling -- Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

I had a late night last night. I had agreed to pick up my friend Katie at the airport. Her plane was initially due at around 11:30 -- which is well after my usual bedtime of Quaker midnight. Quaker midnight, for the Methodists among the readership of this blog, is 10 p.m. (Sometimes, in my case, Quaker midnight comes earlier than 10 p.m. -- depending on how tired I am. I figure, if I'm tired enough, then it's got to be 10 p.m. somewhere in the world, and off to bed I go.)

But Quaker midnight came and went last night and I was still up. In fact, Katie texted me at around 10:30 saying they were just getting ready to take off from Atlanta. I tracked her flight for awhile on the Internet and then, when it said it had landed, headed for the airport.

I forgot about waiting for luggage. Anyhoo, it was past 12:30 a.m. before we wandered into the house. And I wandered straight to bed, after telling Katie to sleep in if she felt like it. "Will you sleep in?" she asked. "Probably not," I replied.

Sure enough, right at the crack of 6:30, just like usual, I was awake. Well, sort of. My body brought my mind out of slumber into an awareness that it was time to get up. Even though I didn't want to. At all. But I was eased into the new day by the smell of coffee brewing. Nancy, who always beats me up (hmmm, that doesn't sound quite right!) had been up for at least 30 minutes and the aroma of fresh coffee was filling the air. It made me feel almost alive.

Later, after an hour in the office, I smelled fresh coffee again. My little brother, rabbi Aaron Spiegel had made his way into the office, turned on his computer, and brewed a fresh pot of coffee as he does every morning he's here. I think it's a Jewish ritual.

At any rate, the smell perked me up again. And while some Friends joke that coffee is Quaker communion (we don't do the bread and wine thing), I did think just a bit about it as such whilst smelling that heavenly aroma.

It is a form of communion in many place -- if by communion we think of communing with each other. I know I've had many a deep conversation with a friend -- about life and God -- over coffee at the local brewhouse. And many times we officemates gather while pouring Coffeemate into our cups and recap our weekend's activities. And many is the cuppa Joe that I enjoyed in between Meeting for Worship and Firstday (Sunday) School.

While I often have enjoyed communion with my friends and family over coffee, I would also maintain that I have had communion with God in those moments as well. Both in the God whose Spirit lives in His children whether at Meeting or in the kitchen at work and in the goodness that comes from God's gift of coffee to us. Yes, I do think that all good things -- including coffee (sorry Mormons) -- come from God and are given for our pleasure.

And sometimes just to help us wake up.

I think I need to smell some coffee just now. And maybe sip some, too.

-- Brent

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