Before I can open my eyes I smell it. In our kitchen the pot is perking a merry plo-plo-plo-plop. The aroma dances down the hall, through my closed bedroom door, and pirouettes on my nose. Ah, coffee. I open my eyes to another morning.
How I love mornings. False dawn give way to sun rise. Colors wash the sky. A mockingbird sings in the orange tree. The aroma of coffee fills every room of the house. A Scrub jay carries an acorn to the rooftop, places it against a shingle, and begins hammering it with its beak. I am dressed, ready for the day.
Dad has already left for work. Mom is busy in the kitchen. I settle in behind a bowl of Rusketts, my favorite breakfast.
It is the aroma of coffee that lingers after six decades. That rich scent promising ecstasy. How disappointing when, years later, I was allowed my first taste. How could a brew so bewitching taste so bitter?
Now when I awake, it is that scent I miss. No modern brew machine releases that aroma like an old percolator. I worked six years in a coffee shop and can brew a decent latte. I know that what Starbucks calls a cappuccino is just a latte in the witness protection program. Not even there have I smelled the aroma that daily rose from my Mom’s old-fashioned percolator.
Mornings are still special. The sun still rises amid the stillness as the day begins. It is now European-collared doves I hear instead of Mourning doves, although the House sparrows still cluster at the bird feeder as they did sixty years ago. There are no Scrub jays banging on acorns up on the roof, but the passing Blue jays make as much noise.
I still love the stillness of “a brand new day with no mistakes in it yet.” Rusketts have vanished from store shelves, but oatmeal is an acceptable replacement. Sort of.
And when I want it, I will brew up a morning cup of Java (Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is very tasty). Yet I am aware that one of the most important parts of morning is lacking. There is no rich aroma wafting into the bedroom before I open my eyes.
And I miss that.