I have this coffee making machine. I reach for a miniature container of coffee, with “Sumatra” printed on the foil top, place it in the contraption, push a button, and out comes a fabulous cup of dark liquid. I add a generous helping of heavy cream. It comes from a bright carton in my refrigerator. It was easy to purchase. I didn’t have to milk a cow.
While the gadget is taking care of filling my coffee cup, I open a new bag of dates. Their pretty labeling tells me they’re from Tunisia. It takes me a few seconds to find this place on the world map hanging on the wall behind my desk. I wonder if I’ll ever go there, or to Morocco or Turkey.
I begin to think of this amazing feat … getting this wonderful morning treat into my kitchen. Beginning with the date palm growers in Africa and the coffee bean farmers in Indonesia, I try to imagine all the links in the chain. Transporters, factory workers, marketers, store owners, cashiers — everyone doing their part to give me a 50-cent cup of coffee and a handful of delicious dates.
It’s astonishing. I’m spoiled. I’m thankful.
Sandy keeps an online journal at her website www.field-days.com. E-mail her at