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Stop to smell the roses (and sip the coffee)

I once read somewhere that on arrival to heaven we will be called to give account for all God-given pleasures granted here that we refrained from enjoying. It slants halo glow from a wholly different angle to imagine being called on the carpet not for our explanation of sins committed but of blessings un-treasured.

A hard enough place is the world we live in and yet still sprinkled with enough pure pleasures to suggest the one overseeing has compassion on the inmates here.

Some of Earth's standard occurrences still grab our attention to bring us joy: light at dawning; a cooling summer rain; autumn leaves turned gold and orange; a new snow; a song just right for whistling. All such things are ours to savor, provided we don't overlook them when they happen on us.

"Stop to smell the roses," some prophet advised. They might as accurately have admonished, "Pause, and sip the coffee."

What poor soul, cold and wet through his clothes, soaked in hard luck, bad times or bitter irony, couldn't find some hope left in a hot cup of joe, hands wrapped round crockery, dark heat of the elixir warming his inside?

What taste of meal or morsel was not heightened by coffee's complement––maybe java with donut being that marriage truly made in heaven? What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (cholesterol notwithstanding).

Tell what lonely midnight watch found no improvement from the comfort beverage. And though a comfort to the solitary, coffee warms, too, as a ritual bond between companions.

Name something better than coffee in the morning while propped in bed, fixed just the way you like and brought by someone who knows you, holding it out easy in gentle hands, so you don't spill it, as if to say, "This is my love to you: abidingly warm, unsugared, without pretense, softened with the milk of human kindness."

I've seen old men at a lunch counter swapping notes on life in high comedy. As often I've heard the ring of a metal teaspoon, rounding the inside of a ceramic cup, as if rhythmic punctuation of the tale being told.

Truth be told, coffee is a commodity. You can store it in a tin, its pent aroma as exotic as tramp steamers and foreign ports. But coffee's magic is mostly the things we sometimes associate with it: friendship; love; renewed hope.

Those are gifts not to miss while traveling through this world below and maybe the kind we must account for when we are done with wayfaring here.