Do you remember the old Folgers ad campaign from the 80’s? 🎶 The best part of waking up . . . 🎶
While this has NOTHING to do with my lil’ pumpkin photo above it is what’s on my mind this morning. So, regarding my personal coffee history (but really, who cares?) my earliest recollection of actual consumption was the first cup of Joe I ordered and paid for at a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant at seventeen. Hanging with a group who were older than me—my first time eating out with no parent there to order or pay—I associated an air of sophistication with drinking coffee alongside these early twenty somethings. I was a tad nervous but also inwardly euphoric to have been included. Our conversations went on into the night until the restaurant closed.
Life was different after that—I felt more grown up because of this practically insignificant quite ordinary experience. And it was only partially due to what was in my cup that night. It wasn’t a pink lemonade and it wasn’t a Shirley Temple (which made a young kid feel very grown up). It was coffee. Cowboys made it on the range and grown ups drank pots of it. Now I was in their ranks (in my own mind) because of that first cup.
And yet again it wasn’t entirely what was in my cup at all but the sense of being treated as an equal. It was a subliminal dawning of a new day. What I metabolized in that seemingly meaningless/totally empowering experience was inclusion. At my youngish age I wasn’t yet old enough to be running with their pack, I knew that, so when they welcomed me in it impacted me.
Its not always easy to welcome others “in” to an existing and functional pack. It takes less effort just to keep the circle closed and to run with those we know. I get it because I can, and do, go both ways but maybe its a good time to look outward at who’s on the outer edge and ask them in. For a metaphorical coffee. That’s all. Though you may not imagine so, it may leave a lasting impression, as it did when it happened to me.