Once upon a time I worked in a coffee shop. It was the hardest job I’ve ever done. A queue of people waiting for their drinks, the constant clatter of cups and hissing machinery, and a complicated till that I never got the hang of… were enough to make me quit the job before I was sacked for incompetence.
I could never be a barista. Let me make instant coffee in a mug at home! Let my life be uncomplicated – and quiet, at least some of the time.
‘Listen’ is an anagram of ‘silent’. In a world of constant noise and busyness where caffeine keeps us going, it’s good to find times to be silent – and listen. One day last week I went out with my camera before dawn. There was little traffic to pollute the air with fumes and noise. I heard the beating wings of swans flying overhead, the calling of geese as they pierced the sky in a v-formation, and then the plaintive call of a peregrine. I felt leaves falling on me from bronzed beech trees, I watched brown trout in the river and observed early morning light playing patterns on the slow-moving water. Calm and invigorated, I walked home contentedly to make… a cup of tea.