Black Coffee

If we were having coffee, mine would be shockingly strong. I need something to wake me up, because I’m emotionally and energetically drained. I would put on my best bright-eyed and bushy-tailed mask, and try to escape my state of mind. Your company would cheer me up, and bring a sincere, unaffected smile to my face. Talking to someone instead of turning my thoughts over endlessly inside my own head would be a welcome change.

Despite seeming prickly and cold, my mood would improve with a few sips of coffee. If we were sitting outside, I’d be reminded that a stifling, weeks-long heatwave has broken. I would probably blame the vile weather for my vile mood, but that would only be part of the truth. Truthfully, I’m not fond of stagnancy in weather patterns or in life events. Anticipating the start of my first semester in veterinary school has left me in a funk. In a few days, I won’t have the time to over-think and brood. I’m ready to dive headfirst into fall, embracing the new routines and changing weather it’s sure to bring.

“Coffee-growing is a long job. It does not all come out as you imagine, when, yourself young and hopeful, in the streaming rain, you carry the boxes of your shining young coffee-plants from the nurseries, and, with the whole number of farm-hands in the field, watch the plants set in the regular rows of holes in the wet ground where they are to grow, and then have them thickly shaded against the sun, with branches broken from the bush, since obscurity is the privilege of young things.”Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

That doesn’t mean the past weeks have been a total wash, however. I’m still reading and imbibing delicious concoctions, despite my desire to see summer on its way. I’m pleased that my summer break is ending just like it started, because it satisfies some part of me that yearns for symbolic meaning in everyday occurrences. It’s also fitting that Out of Africathe book that has served as my broadest and deepest source of inspiration—is keeping me going now. It’s encouraging me to persevere, knowing that a rich, satisfying life is made up of a variety of experiences. Life, like coffee-growing, is a long job. Getting through each day, good or bad, is a labor of love. Some day, when I’m no longer young, I’ll be free from the shroud of obscurity, and I’ll survey the life I’ve lived with a strong sense of pride.

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