My good farmer man and I.
He tells me about the status of parts we’re still awaiting for our John Deere tractor, that’s torn apart, over in the machine shop.
Coffee begins to hiss, dripping in a cocoa brew from the paper filter where my farmer man has placed ground coffee beans and poured in fresh water.
The aroma swirls around the room, inviting, welcoming, announcing a brand new day.
He worked until 1 a.m. late last night, technically this morning.
When something breaks, something else must bear the extra burden. For now, our other tractor is bearing the brunt. It keeps chug, chug, chugging, working acres of soil, turning the earth, preparing for the next cycle of seed and growth.
I tell him about appointments and calendar schedules and a funny meme or five.
I slide the stack of bills behind the bouquet on the table and ask for the answer I need in reply to the voicemail from Jessie at Farm Bureau.
We discuss lunch options and the whereabouts of the good farmer and our son come noon.
Seems our son will be south of Ronnie’s and the farmer himself most likely west of the little brick building. Structures and homesteads become a farmer’s telling landmarks.
The cogwheels of minutes and clock move us on into our day.
I throw dirty towels into our trusty washing machine.
Step through the back door into the fresh morning.
Kittens curl at my feet and I stumble along the tangle of garden hose. Water gushes as I begin the morning circle, offering drinks and food to thirsty flora and felines alike.
The clowder of cats leap onto the ledge, eagerly anticipating the rattle of dishes and Purina chow.
Light filters through the familiar garage clutter, as I open the brand-new bag, upend the contents into the Rubbermaid storage container. Gathering paper, string, and bag, I pour food for the eager cats, step to stuff my armload into our trash burner.
Back inside, the washer sloshes a steady hum. I tidy the kitchen. Toss trash into the wastebasket and clear the counters.
The clock chime propels me to my closet and bathroom mirror. It’s almost time for me to depart.
Jostling a couple of bags and my water cup, I settle in the seat, navigate my Yukon toward our little town.
Twenty-six minutes later, I order a dirty chai, in a mug with whip please, and drop my journal and pen on a table in our familiar coffee shop. I have an hour before an appointment and I am happy about it.
My phone lights up. A text from my good farmer.
“Who did you say you were meeting for coffee?” he queries.
“Myself. ” I tap back the reply.
Then I pause and ponder my answer.
Re-read the written reply as it pulsates on the Samsung screen.
We often need to meet ourselves for coffee.
Meet with ourselves.
Look in ourselves.
Show gentle kindness to ourselves.
Become friends with ourselves.
Embrace the very delight Jesus sees in ourselves, the ones He crafted and created and called in to breath and being.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
We have broken parts, but we are not machines.
We are flesh and blood and bone.
We are emotion and elation and exasperation.
We require inspiration and integrity, rest and renewal.
Long for compassion and companionship and comfort.
We need smiles and support and our sense of self.
Our lungs inhale and exhale twelve to twenty times a minute, bringing in oxygen rich air, bringing in life, expelling carbon and oxygen, expelling excess.
Twenty-two thousand times a day this happens.
In effortless flow, our lungs expand, contract, expand.
In rhythmic time, our bodies rise and fall, chests lift and lower. Most often we pay little attention to this miracle of breath thrumming life along our veins.
We need to meet ourselves in liminal spaces.
We need to calm.
To hold space for our souls to catch up.
We need to welcome the waiting rather than rushing headlong through in our attempts to ignore the hurts, the hardships, the anger, the diagnosis, the rejection, the out-of-alignment, the lost opportunity, the regret.
We need contemplation, rather than meet ourselves coming and going every time we turn around.
My hands curl around the mug. The whipped cream sinking slowly, slowly into the tangy chai and espresso.
I tighten my fingers, close my eyes, note the warmth.
The clay of the mug is smooth and pleasant in my grip. I take note of my body. Feel the air whoosh in, out, in, out.
I cough a bit. My lungs and throat don’t like the disturbance. I can feel it in my chest when I inhale deeply. This niggling cough has nagged me off and on for almost three months.
Coffee with Myself.
I love this muse.
Grateful for my good farmer man’s question.
Grateful in my brain dump of appointments and cancelled plans and calendar pages, he’d noted coffeeshop, then paused to inquire who I was meeting.
I flip open the lined journal pages and begin to jot words about breath and self, of coffee and chores, broken machines and embodied souls,
who too often live our one wild and precious lives at mechanical pace.
At a round table, with a round mug, on an ordinary Thursday morning, I gather round, with body, soul, and spirit, and meet myself for coffee.