Thirsty work and trees

The water had been boiling for a time. A long time. Longer than I had anticipated. Much longer than I was prepared for. And ridiculously long for an early morning. 

The window pane for my ideal Instagram of camping coffee in an understated PNW mug held in my hand over a snapping campfire with the morning sun rising between beyond blurry tall pines and cedars was rapidly closing. It was about to hit my fingers.

Hard. I felt something like panic, I had to get this, now.

“Can I please borrow your phone camera?” I pleaded. First, with the manners.

Then, when my son wasn’t fast enough, “Give me your phone! I don’t have mine! It’s somewhere polluting Granite Falls! I need to take this picture. Again. Because I lost the first one and all my other pictures!!” 

“Ok, fine Mom.” Perfect eye-roll with unaffected teen response, I noted. Nice work, Haden.

It felt like an imposter. The whole setup, picture, timing, but in the end I got the shot. Just not the one I longed for.

Instagram has only heightened and deepened my love of all things outdoors since I signed in with my first picture. I joined fairly early on, and expected it to be only for serious artists. So I played by those expectations. It’s still what I love best about it. But along the way others joined, saw it’s potential to fill an unmet need in the social community conversation, and it changed.

Still. It took me time to adjust. Now I just navigate around a little bit differently than before, follow my passions, skip over the accounts that aren’t speaking to where I’m at, and find my own community among similar minds. But I can appreciate some of what others use it for.

Some days I get so discouraged. I have so many things to say, to write, to have someone interested to hear and talk through with me. But what I may want or need for those desires to be filled isn’t always available, or available when. 

Other things come first, second. Others need too, and not at convenient times for my plans. I’m aware I cannot meet all of their needs, or even be who or what they require, but I can’t ignore their presence. That’s not the way I’m built.

While camping that morning I was content for some time to watch the steam rise around the pot of water, to listen to the flames.  But when I was ready for my cup of caffeine, finally checking on the water only to find it still and cool, that calm morning content flamed to white hot urgency. What I wanted most was going to be delayed. 

I like, no love, to watch a really engaging, well told documentary. I finally watched “Barista”, which follows several baristas and their journey to the National Brewing Competition. I had resisted watching it for some time, putting it in a ‘to watch on a night I can’t find anything else’ category. Partly because I like to think I know about coffee, and I have a former barista in the family, so, you know, I’m an expert.

What I expected to be potentionaly uninteresting, brewing a cup of coffee, was transformed when viewed through the lens of the people brewing that cup. Different brewing produces different coffee. Different water produces different coffee. Different vessels for drinking also, guess what. For real. A coffee is a coffee is not true.

Of all the factors, grinders, beans, and water, the key was passion. For these few, this is well beyond interest or income, it is a calling. They found a way to express their creativity with their gifts, and for them, whether or not they might get around to indulging their passion this week or next is a non-issue. This is their life, to give life to something they see a bit differently than the rest of us do.

I have had thoughts brewing-taking as long to percolate as that pot of water. Time and struggles had taken a toll on my ability to put those cramped and begging words on paper.  

It can be an unfamiliar thing to share those thoughts-those brewing, flavorful thoughts that hold such promise, like the aroma of coffee over cracking campfire.

But they wouldn’t leave me alone this time. The words woke me up, dragged my body to sharpened pencil and open page, stood behind me, raised eyebrows and said, “Now.”

Those words, like the brewed coffee, may not always be as rewarding to pour out, or after awaiting a welcome sip, lips on a mug testing the temperature, to find an unexpected taste…more acidic or bold, maybe grittier than meant. 

What I started writing this morning has turned out to have a message all its’ own;  it was written in pieces, some from pages scribbled on my camping trip journal, some when I was feeling confident, sassy and like a writer, and others came in slow rolling spurts, after scouring my mind and spirit with a steel wool pad of reality. 

I like that, having the taste altered from my daily blend grind.

I did finally get that cup of coffee at our campsite.

I found that while the flames were burning bright and wide, they weren’t reaching up to make contact with the metal of the pot. Once I built a firewood tent, the new flames caught on quickly and within seconds were licking the water into boiling bubbles.
All this coffee talk is making me really thirsty.

I’m going to need to satisfy this craving.

We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which HE has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain. His Spirit–where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves-labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive. I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less…….1 Corinthians 12:12


4 thoughts on “Thirsty work and trees

  1. Julia Putzke says:

    “But they wouldn’t leave me alone this time. The words woke me up, dragged my body to sharpened pencil and open page, stood behind me, raised eyebrows and said, “Now.”” — love, love. How I felt last week. And all your talk about coffee made think of, “Coffee, coffee, coffee!” Lorelei Gilmore 😉😂☺️ thank you for pouring out your passion. Love ya. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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