Winter has brought upon an unplanned morning ritual; hot cocoa, earbuds, Pandora/YouTube, and solitude. I look at this list, and think – ‘there’s significance to each of these.’ A meaning. A purpose. But what?
I’ve never had a consistent relationship with hot chocolate. When given a choice of a cold drink or hot, I choose cold every time. Yet, there have been periods of sickness in my life when I craved a bit of steamy goodness. I would wake up feeling like death and immediately want hot chocolate. The moment I was well, the hot chocolate was forgotten.
Now I find myself drinking one or two large cups a day. A trend started by freezing weather – 29 degrees – are you crazy? I live in Florida! I live here with a polar bear who insists on opening windows and living without the heat. It’s taken us 25 years to find a compromise. Our compromise? He opens the windows and I close them. He sleeps “in,” and I sneak the heater on to cut the cold. He wears shorts and a t-shirt, and I wear fuzzy pants and robes – drinking hot chocolate and eating oatmeal.
This morning I sat, drinking my big cup of hot chocolate – heat rising from the sea of soothing cocoa, tucked safely within my son’s giant Christmas mug. Baby, it’s cold outside written on the side. I am comforted inside and out at this moment. I never truly understood the joy found in a daily cup of. I’ve always adored the notion of sitting and having a cup of coffee with a friend, but I’ve always hated coffee. I never realized how calming a moment with a hot cup of anything could be.
For me, it’s the ritual of it all. From beginning to end, there’s a kind of forced sense of being present. I heat the water, a three-minute process, during which I prepare my mug with two envelopes of hot cocoa. The microwave beeps, I grab my mug and pour the water in. My husband thinks I’m a bit insane using water – he’s a milk and cocoa kind of guy. I stir the water cocoa mix; careful to catch the powder that has drifted to the bottom. I breathe in the warmth of the swirling marshmallows. A bit amused by how much I enjoy this.
I carry my comfort up the stairs to my corner of the world – a spiritual space of solitude. I set the glass on the floor, say my prayers, and relax. It was in a moment like this that I finally found joy in a warm cuppa. Mug in hand, fingers grasping the handle to the right while the left embraces the full body of the mug. Heat tingles the senses, sending a message of awareness to the brain. I raise the mug, and take a moment – I want to enjoy this. The sweet sensation of luscious chocolate wafting through my senses. The heat of glorious comfort rising and drifting across my eager lips.
Slowly – carefully – I breathe in…. tip the glass and sip. My taste buds ignited by the sweet reward of patience. As the splendid nectar of childhood seeps into my bloodstream, I can think of nothing more than this moment. The heat creating a need to be cautious and aware. As I sit here, holding my son’s Christmas mug, the one he picked out in 2014. Or maybe this is one I picked for him. The significance of this moment is not lost on me.
As I sit and admire the mug, I am reminded of my son’s goodness. I feel a gentle nudge, a whisper ‘there is still beauty in the world.’ My son. My best friend. My protector. He for me and me for him. He has the spirit of Christmas within him. Christmas mugs over coffee cups. Christmas lights year-round. A Christmas tree in every room, if only space would allow. A giver. A lover. A gentle soul with a servant’s heart. A sweet companion with the heart of Christ. God’s gift. God’s reminder.
Life is Beautiful! Life has Purpose!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Photo by Pro Church MEDIA