Santa Rosa Fire 12: Butter + Coffee

Yum! Coffee blended with a couple of tablespoons of unsalted organic butter. If you haven’t tried it yet, it probably sounds weird to you. If you have tried it, you might well become an addict, like I am. 

A cup of butter coffee in the morning fills you up for hours. It’s part of the new fad of “intermittent fasting,” which means limiting your food intake to 8 hours of the day. Intermittent fasting can be as effective as fasts in which you eat nothing at all, and which are notoriously difficult to sustain. I’ve been enjoying butter coffee for a couple of years.

This week I made my first cup of butter coffee since the fire. It’s been two months. Our lives have been so disrupted that even the morning ritual of making butter coffee, which requires only a blender, coffee maker and fridge, became impossible.

As I ladled the butter into the coffee, my body swelled with an inordinate amount of satisfaction. Butter + coffee meant normalcy. The morning ritual was a tiny symbol that my life was returning to normal.

It’s hard to explain how far from normal life has been. You’re dressing in the morning and you want to match a shirt with a pair of pants with the same color socks. You realize that the socks are in a friend’s garage, half an hour away, while the pants are at the cleaner’s. 

You want to charge your Bluetooth speaker, and then it dawns on you that the cord is in a distant storeroom and the power supply is missing. Tasks that take minutes when all your possessions are in your house take hours when they’re scattered among different locations. You get further and further behind, even as the urgency increases.

Your inbox is full of messages from friends wanting to help. People a thousand miles away are offering you shelter. It makes you feel loved, and you appreciate their concern. Yet responding to their emails consumes yet more of the time you need to accomplish the simplest of daily tasks and get your life back into some kind of order.

So the simple act of making my routine morning cup of butter coffee made my body feel warm all over. Two months after the fire, it was a symbol of normalcy in a world turned upside down. When those symbols are few and far between, you treasure them.

We go through our lives taking those normal routines for granted. Our houses, families, and possessions are all around us, and it’s easy to think they’ll be there forever. 

They may not be. Savor them while they last! That little ritual you engage in each day might be far more precious than you understand. 

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