I lost a good friend the other day.
She’d been with me for several years, and then one recent morning, she was gone. There had been no warning of her end. She hadn’t slowed down or shown signs of struggling to keep up. Every morning, often pre-dawn, I plugged her in, and the familiar faint hum of her soft whirring disk (the one I affectionately and yes, a bit tongue in cheek, referred to as her silver chakra) would froth milk for my cappuccino. She was my Nespresso Aeroccino.
There was no red light glowing when I pushed her button that morning. Nothing. No sign of life or connection. The cold milk from the fridge just sat in her belly; white and still.
I was surprised at how sad I was, and not just because there’d be no cappuccino that morning. It’s that she’d been a part of my mornings and those early hours are a sacred, sweet time of day for me.
I’m usually the first up. I have a routine. I stand a few minutes in Reiki gratitude and center myself. I meditate. I stretch while my Aeroccino froths the whole milk. Is been just the two of us for a brief awakening every morning.
Although I post haste ordered a new one – I couldn’t bring myself to dispose of her. My husband was surprised.
“Really?? It’s a thing.”
Of course, I understand that, but don’t you have items, inanimate items, that you’re attached to? Usually because of the memories surrounding them, right?
I’m not a hoarder. I’m found more at the other end of the spectrum – bordering on minimalist – easily donating and keeping my home clear of superfluous clutter.
The only other item I just can’t let go of is my blue Schwinn bike, purchased in 1981, that I rode my daughters and sons around on, often one in a seat on the back fender and one in a backpack – at the same time. WAY too many memories with that bike to ever let it go.
Kids have teddy bears or “blankies.” I’ve had friends who feel that way about certain cars they’ve owned because of the miles they’ve shared together.
In Japan, some people participate in Hari-Kuyo, also known as the Festival of Broken Needles, whereby participants hold a memorial service for worn-out needles and lay them to rest in gratitude for their years of service. Being a seamstress, a cross-stitcher, and a quilter – I can relate to and respect the idea of Hari-Kuyo.
It’s not so odd to be attached to inanimate items that have served us or shared time with us. We’re emotional creatures and our emotions can surprise us (as mine with my Aeroccino did) by involuntarily attaching themselves to all kinds of things, from places we’ve visited, a pair of earrings our Grandmother used to wear or a pipe our Grandfather used to smoke, to a kitchen device that frothed and warmed us for years of quiet mornings.
I did finally give her a burial, of sorts. I took care not to let her see the new shiny, exact same model that arrived in the mail. I cleaned her respectfully one last time, put her in the new box with all the trappings to hold her tightly. I saved her silver, springlike chakra piece as well as her lid, to interchange with the new model now and then, happy to have a piece of her left behind, if you will.
The new one is performing just fine. But it will take a while for that bond to form. For now it’s simply hot, frothed milk, no memories; a bit sterile. But it will come. It’s just that for now, I miss my morning friend, who was always so happy to serve.