By: Jessica Dwyer (Barista at Middleford Coffee)
From handmade to Target, from plastic to paper, from sipping through a straw to only "for-here" cups. We LOVE our cups. Cups are a very intimate thing. It is the thing we hold in our hands for a long valued period of time. It is the vehicle that signifies what most would say is their favorite part of the day: coffee or tea. Then it touches our lips bringing a wonderful hot liquid into our bodies for us to consume, enjoy, wake up, or even feel the connection and community of doing it with others.
Personally, I’ve gone through many stages on how I feel about cups from years of not caring to hours spent roaming through antique stores for a unique cup that speaks to me for some reason. Almost without fail for Christmas or my birthday I get a new cup as a gift. I have a box in storage filled with cups. It's no secret to the ones that know me best, how much I love the right cup.
I've found in the seasons where I didn’t care about the cups I used, were synonymous with times of survival. I found myself letting joy, fun, and wonder be the first thing I’d let go of in my life. I don’t know about anyone else but when life gets hard, full and busy, I turn to my survival mode to get through it. Almost forgetting the joy I get from finding the perfect cup, the feeling when I proudly hold it as if it was given to me by a great king. There is this thing that happens when life gets hard where we strip down what we think is excessive like passion, love, and joy, as if they were baggage that prevented us from getting through the hard parts in life. We numb and shut down ourselves to just get what we need so we can get by. There is a tendency to believe that joy and fun are really just superfluous.
Survival is so needed and I honor it but what is survival except to say only the essential matters. If only the essential matters, we can never move into new possibilities, new relationships, or innovation. We get stuck in a cycle, we protect the cycle because we believe it’s the only way. When in reality the way out is to believe that more matters. Then we can search and find something thriving, whole, and loving. We can value the small things then, because our lives are more then just cut and dry getting by.
We can be open to relationships, open to creativity, and so much more by letting things matter to us. Things like cups, a perfect-to-you cup that fits in your hand and makes you think of the sea, or a cup from your mom that makes your heart feel so warm, so loved. Maybe one you’ve made that is a creative expression of how you feel in the inside. These littles things are sometimes tied to very big things in our hearts that remind us how wonderful, how big, how beautiful and worth it life itself is.