The movement is mechanical and routine, one whose repetitions could be calculated if any point would be served in doing so.  There's not.  Water fills the carafe to just over eight cups, an unnecessarily-bleached filter is nested into place, and I scoop two of the four heaping measures when I realize I have to open a new bag of coffee.  Dunkin Donuts, always, for us there is no other. 

When I unseal the bag, I'm gifted with aroma that never ceases to delight me.  Its scent stirs Pavlovian response, nudging familiarity and comfort, even though I won't enjoy this cup until morning.  Inhaling is almost as delicious as a sip.

I do this for my husband, who leaves each morning before I've rubbed the sleep from my eyes.  It's a simple act of service, nothing special, but it's intentioned–it speaks "I love you" in my absence. 

Tonight as I went through the motions, that scent captured me.  Though sleepy, I opened my eyes and thought about what I was doing this time a week ago; I wasn't preparing coffee for the next day…I was 8,400 miles and a world away from home, in a place where my nightly routine doesn't even make sense.

I hit a wall this week.  Though swirling thoughts cloud my mind, in spite of a thousand stories wanting to be told, I needed rest…distance…perspective.  I want to tell these stories well, even if it takes me a while to process my experience…to honor those whose lives have now touched mine.

I mentally prepared to face poverty of unimaginable breadth and depth in India; but I was unprepared for so much more than that.  The expectation was that I would come back a changed person, but really, I just feel like myself. 

Which seems wrong.

Shutting down is self preservation, but I hate I've been rude in the process, online and off.  I so appreciate your kind emails, comments, calls and even tweets, and honestly I think it's downright tacky to have been so unresponsive. 

So…setting our coffee maker so it'll be ready in the morning…taking a few minutes to arrange thought on a page…it's me, settling down. 

Waking up…

Smelling coffee…

I wonder if this scent will linger until morning.

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