Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Psalms and Morning Coffee...

Morning at the kitchen table. Old kitchen table made in the town where my dad was a young boy. Cloth crocheted by my grandmother. Jug and bowl belonged to my great-grandmother.

"My strength returns to me with my morning
cup of coffee and reading the psalms."
~Dorothy Day

I ran across this quote again today, and it made me smile because what Dorothy said here is true for me, too, and it really is the coffee as well as the Psalms. This will sound silly, but once, in the past, this gave me pause. I didn't want to think of drinking coffee or other little pleasant routines and rituals of my day as having that kind of importance in my life. I mean, I may not always be able to start my morning with coffee. I may not always be surrounded by pleasant things. I may not have as much discretionary time as I do now to live slowly and to enjoy the little material blessings that surround me. They may be gone someday. Who knows? Things change.

I wasn't feeling negative about life or guilty about my pleasures. I liked drinking coffee in the morning, and I would continue to enjoy it, but I wanted my daily strength, I thought, to come down to simply trusting Him. I wasn't sure it was a good thing for the coffee (or anything else) to factor into the equation of what gives me strength and joy.

And, really, it does come down to Him alone. I know that. If everything I enjoy now went away, the true source of my strength and joy would still be there. So that little doubt about morning coffee having too much importance passed quickly And right now, I do happen to be blessed with pleasant things around me and cheerful daily routines and rituals. I have been given the gift of time and the freedom of choice to order my days as I like. I'm blessed to be able to grind my own coffee beans in the morning, fill my coffee press, sit beside the fire or a window with a view, and sip and think and read and pray. This is a gift, and I'll take it gladly.

Many mornings I wake up feeling bright and cheery and ready to go. Other mornings are slower, and like Dorothy Day, when I open my Bible, sip my coffee, and write in my journal, my strength returns to me. And I really am glad for both the Psalms and my morning coffee!

And I'm glad for the fire in the stove or the sunny window with a view. I'm glad for the quilt (made by my grandma) that I wrap around myself each morning and the feel of the pen scratching its way across my journal. I'm glad for the books that end up in the stacks that surround me as I sip and read and write in the morning.

Yes, my strength returns to me with my morning cup of coffee and the reading of the Psalms. They are good rituals for starting the day, and I take them with glad thanks to God, who means for me to enjoy and benefit from them both.