I don’t remember if it was for summer vacation or for the Christmas holidays, but I was the lucky elementary school kid who got to take the class pet home.
It was a hamster. One step up from a rat, and I thought I must be the teacher's very favorite student. I'm pretty sure my mom must’ve wondered why the teacher hated her.
The pet in question, Nosy was his name, ended up in the basement because his little nocturnal self would jump on the hamster wheel just about the time the whole house settled down to sleep. He would not let up. The demons he must’ve had to be running all night every night.
Sometimes I feel the same way. I plan to hop on the “wheel” for just a minute, and then I can’t seem to hop off, so I end up just going faster and faster until “something” (like Covid) throws a monkey wrench into the cogs of my perfectly organized and balanced machine.
A few days ago, a friend sent me a clip of a cool item that had been invented by what appears to be a company with a young, hip, edgy, marketing department. I poked around on their website enjoying the ads that were more like indie films until I found one particular product. It was an ice press. The product takes a fairly large piece of ice that you have previously frozen, and it compresses/melts/shapes the cube of ice into a ball of ice approximately 3 inches in diameter that fits perfectly into the glass that you can then pour your whiskey/bourbon/drink of choice over.
It struck me as absurd, and I may have made some derisive remarks about how have we come to a place where we need items like this. For the past few days though I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I think I may have been very wrong.
Thinking of the process that includes the level of effort and care that goes into making the perfect drink in a perfect glass with the perfect ice made me think of the Japanese tea ceremony. I’ve always heard of the training it takes and the intricacies of it. I had to look it up to find details. For example, a full length ceremony lasts approximately four hours “during which the host engages his whole being in the creation of an occasion.“ Do I engage my whole being in anything I do??
I make a special coffee drink for Madi when she’s home, and it includes making espresso on a traditional moka stove top espresso maker. It takes time and careful watching. In the process, while thinking of how we tend to rush, I got distracted and the espresso boiled over, made a mess while giving me a very slight burn. How is that for irony?
It did make me think though; this Thanksgiving I’m going to make a concerted effort to not rush, to pay attention, and really look at each blessing carefully. To take some time to enjoy each blessing instead of staying on the hamster wheel and spinning my way through the whole holiday. That's what I wish for you: to slow down enough to really appreciate your blessings.