A Well Behaved Morning

— a morning uphill battle

Rolled oats or steel cut? ‘Today’s the chance to live ‘healthier’!’ Am I ready to spend 30 minutes to cook? It’s so early?!

Grains of cut oats covered the bottom of a saucepan. Under the faucet, water pooled around choppy edges. Should we double or triple the amount of water? How about quadruple to make sure nothing burns. The cloudy pot is placed on the stove.

A kettle is set to boil. An arm of fresh ginger is broken off a larger piece, peeled, sliced thinly for a detoxifying tea. How do people get into the grooves of ginger to peel the skin? It seems impossible without wasting the flesh. The kettle boils. Water is poured onto ginger slices in a large mug. A slice of lemon plopped in bobs above the ginger. Finished with a sprig of thyme, the health cocktail is ready to drink.

Each sip, heat burns through the internal residue, flushing the stagnant and pent up energy. A citrusy lightness follows with a subtle upbeat energy.

It was going so well. Then, drowsiness returned. Honing in on the screen of the phone, sensational video titles appeared. “How Billionaires made their billions” “How to pose for your Instagram” “Erica Jayne dishes on her $40,000 a month beauty bill”

None of the videos are selected. The headlines provide just enough provocation to drown out sleepiness.

Ahh, the oats. The water reaches a boil. The timer is set for ten minutes. Then the heat shuts off and the pot sits covered. This is the moment to fit in a bit of yoga–kill time and get movement in.

There’s no planned workout, just a strong intention to stretch in all directions until twenty minutes are up. Breathe harder, get oxygen into the body, upgrade from being the person who seeks distraction from the phone.

Mid down dog, the timer beeps. Oatmeal is ready.

From a messy shelf, two bottles of spice are taken down. Turmeric and cinnamon dust the top the porridge followed by a short jingle of salt. The scent of cinnamon made the bleak morning a lot more bearable–even inviting.

The chia seeds, however, landed less gracefully like a purple dune on top the thickened oatmeal.

The ingredients spiraled as they were stirred together, the vibrant colors dissipated. Where’d they go? Back to gray, lifeless and lumpy.

Above, in the cupboard sat a clear glass jar. Not too big, not too small. No other container made much sense to hold this breakfast.

From the fridge came a box of strawberries half frozen. It’s no where near the right season. Why are they featured in stores right now?

A banana is set on a bamboo cutting board. First, it’s peeled, then sliced and quartered. The chunky pieces fell with soft thuds into the glass. Sliced strawberries fanned on top. The pot holding oatmeal is raised above and in one plop, the oats drop over the fruit.

The gooey blob held more shape now with the bloated gelatin of chia. Unlike porridge, it sat propped up on top chunks of fruit. You could peer through the air pockets, through the glass, gravity wasn’t strong enough to get the oats behave. The oatmeal settled with a few turns of the spoon.

A few bites in, watery cold slices of strawberry cut through the melange of warm banana, cinnamon, and oat. The ginger tea cocktail left a better impression, washing up residue left by the sticky oat blob.

I felt clear. There wasn’t anything too disagreeable, yet nothing stirred me. The moment passed without evoking memorable attention or causing any residual mention.

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