I wrap my dark blue pea coat tighter around my chilled skin. The sun is out and shining brilliantly, but the cold, yet soft brushes of wind that whip past my exposed cheek reminds me that I am still sitting outside in the dead of winter. We don’t get snow this close to sea level, but this body born on the warm islands of Hawaii and raised in the warm sunshine of the great San Joaquin Valley in California shivers when the readings on the thermometer fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t help that there is little fat or muscle covering the bones that have been wrapped with my thin soft skin.
Still, I sit outside with my laptop open and facing me like an outspread book filled with my scrawling that decorates the pale white digital pages with dark letters. I wear my thin rimmed reading glasses as I attempt to focus on the words being written and rearranged on the pages and tap the foot, I crossed over my other leg, more rapidly when a bit of clever prose comes rushing from my brain to include itself in my wild stories. I pause only for moments at a time to grab the metal canister of boiling hot green tea sitting on the wooden table in front of me to warm my core and propel me further into my fit of writing.
I try to rest my hand on the container of liquid a little longer to warm my frigid digits, but the incredibly well-designed thermos prevents the heat emanating from the beverage from slipping away into the surrounding atmosphere. Betrayed, I take another sip from the fortress of heat in order to, unsuccessfully, match my body’s temperature to the boiling beverage.
Hot tea on cold mornings becomes a tradition of sorts. In order to coax out a yarn of interestingly woven text, I must ease the thought process by softening the think tank with a warm drink. The same trick applies to cold offices. A trip to the community Keurig machine can encourage the birth of a wonderful new article. Words beget sentences that spill into paragraphs after being awakened by coffee or tea.
Sparks of inspiration follow sips of comforting blankets of liquid from a warm London Fog or a carefully crafted Earl Grey tea. A subtle Jasmine or Rose soothes the mind if a flavored White or Rooibos overpowers the tongue. I confidently grab my cup of tea as if to pack for a daring expedition into uncharted waters on a boat barely made for high seas. I do not know what to expect, but at least I do not venture off into the unknowns of the wild alone.