As I sipped my coffee this morning, I gazed into the black swirls, watching the liquid go lower with each sip.
I focused on how much I was enjoying the strong dark flavor and the warmth as I drank it. The coffee slowly grew cooler as I drank. Eventually, I finished the last of it, lukewarm, not as enjoyable as the first taste. I thought of how this cup of coffee was just like so many other things in life. Things that are anticipated and relished at the first encounter. A new job, a new romance, a vacation.
Like a fresh cup of coffee, each of them goes through the stages, the novelty wears off.
There is a cooling down, an emptying, and sometimes, unless refreshed, renewed, or refilled, it is gone. Such is the impermanence of this life. Everything changes, and we have a choice to make with every shift. We can choose to appreciate the good in the moment or choose to focus on what is gone or will leave.
How much more delightful my cup of coffee is while I enjoy each sip rather than worry that it will cool and be gone. How much more delightful my life is while I enjoy the sunshine rather than worry that darkness will fall. The fear of loss can extend itself if we allow it.
Our material reality is drenched in consumerism and ownership. “This is mine,” it says.
Most of us do enjoy what we call ours. Our homes, our clothes, our belongings, inanimate objects that we gather around us. We have our interests, jobs, hobbies, passions. Like the coffee, they can be fluid and changeable, full, then empty. We may lose our taste for them and find that the anticipation we once had for them develops for something new.
There are also those others that we call our own our spouse, our children, boyfriend or girlfriend. But, they are not “ours.” They are their own. They add a new dynamic to our choices, as they make their own choices.
Unlike a thing, we cannot keep them in a drawer to use as we like. We can come to understand that no person or situation is, or ever was, “mine” to own or to lose.
Like water or wind, we can enjoy the moment it flows across our skin, but we cannot hold it there.
This is the balance of holding onto the moment as it is, while also letting go. It is the choice to appreciate what is, rather than worry about what is not, or what may be gone someday.
Consider those people, situations, or things that at one point held such importance in your life. Recall those feelings that you “couldn’t do without it or them.” We all experience the feeling of attachment, of fear, and of loss. We each survive the loss and even choose to make a change.
Like the ocean’s waves, sunrises, and sunsets, the seasons of nature and the seasons of our lives flow and change.
As my coffee cools and empties, I enjoy the last sip and anticipate a fresh cup as if it will be my first!