Abundance, Gratitude, and Coffee

by localwomenglobalmission

Written August 2nd

Yesterday was the full moon. A nice time to recognize all the abundance in your life. All day I was struck by the abundance here in this country which most of the world would define by what is lacking. I walk out my door: an abundance of fresh food. I walk down the road: an abundance of friendly greetings and smiles. I walk into the WMI building: an abundance of hope and laughter. The abundance pours over you, sometimes dizzying you with its beauty. Children’s never ending excitement to see you and greet you… People’s never ending appreciation for your visits… the endless variety of light bouncing off the green palms and the red dirt paths.

Unfortunately, there was an over abundance of photos on my computer! I tend to take 5 of the same shot to get the perfect one, but then the 4 less-then-perfect ones end up remaining. My computer kept warning me that it was getting too full. So, I set out to cull through the past few years. Kate and I climbing the welcome to Texas sign in the pouring rain. Katy and I climbing to a hidden Buddhist temple in Vietnam. Mimi and I climbing the steps to the state house. Lee, Lila and I climbing up magical Mayan steps. Jairo and I climbing the grandfather tree in Mexico. Hand dipped beeswax candles drying in my mom’s kitchen. Handmade pasta drying in the kitchen of mine and Trevor’s stone cabin in New Hampshire. Paska’s hand harvested sweet potato drying in the sun outside our kitchen in Atiak. An abundance of variety and an abundance of continuity. An abundance of incredible people. An absolute abundance of incredible people.

Today, a year ago exactly, mom and I left for Italy on our first ever “mother-daughter trip”. There we luxuriated over cappuccinos while sitting in busy piazzas. We couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more. It was such an amazing trip to reminisce about today. Today I sit in a green plastic yard chair on the cement porch pounding my own coffee. The coffee was grown a few minutes walk from my house by a woman who is a subsistence farmer and a borrower of WMI. We first pounded it to get the husks off, then we roasted it, and then we pounded it again.

We then strained it and pounded it again and again.

My arms sore, the rich smell motivating me, I continued to pound. They say here that coffee makes you strong. And it seems to be true. While Italian coffee makes you kind of sedated with pleasure, not bad either. Though, I think the Italian espresso shots you get from grungy whole-in-the-wall cafes where old timers sling two back and keep it moving are more on the strength-giving side of the coffee spectrum. Still with this theme of abundance lingering in my mind, I laughed about all the different ways we enjoy coffee and how today, one year from the today of one year ago, I am enjoying coffee in such a different way than I did then. I used my sore arms one last time to lift a cup of (local, organic, fair trade, shade-grown, freshly pounded/roasted/brewed) café au lait (fresh raw milk from my neighbor). Lillian (my teacher throughout this process) laughed as I lifted my mug, “cheers!”