what i dream of on cold mornings
“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
When I wake up on cold mornings and every molecule in my body wants to stay hibernated under the warm blankets, drowsy and safe, the only thing that seems to lure me out of bed is a promise of a boiling kettle. Whether it’s for some fragrant coffee or a cup of tea, it helps bring my morning to life. Even when my apartment is dark and I’m still stumbling around in a post-sleep fog, to know that there is freshly made bread in the toaster, butter and jam on the counter, and three heaping spoonfuls of coffee in my French press is enough to stay awake for.
One of my favorite parts of our stay in England was eating meals together, particularly breakfast. It was usually late (us Americans blamed it on jet lag, far after the point when it could have feasibly been jet lag’s fault) and it was always simple: homemade granola, yogurt, fruit compote, and tea. But it was a moment to pause, with sleepy eyes, sweaters, and crazy morning hair; to acknowledge that the dawning day was a gift we might open and to enjoy the simple beauties of being in each other’s company and the crunch of a big spoonful of granola.
No matter how early the morning or how cold the air outside my door may be, it is always easier to greet with some hot buttered toast and a steaming cup.
[photo credit here]