I slipped out the door as Edge rocked Waylon to sleep for his morning nap, and drove into the valley  for a little writing time before work at the Post Office Cafe.

“I’ve been dreaming of a latte,” I told Leslie, who laughed and said she and Betsy, the two owners of the cafe, have dreamed of lattes, too.  I can’t remember the last time I had one–before my pregnancy began for sure.  Leslie offered me the options: single shot, double shot, half-caf, full-caf, caffeine free.  I chose the single full-caf version and took a seat by the window looking up the hill toward home.

The latte came to me in a little cup and saucer, the foam a combination of perfect caramel-brown with a heart of white in the middle.  Its smooth heat slid down my throat as music played overhead, a deep-voiced woman singing a slow but upbeat jazz tune.  The froth blended together as I sipped, one lobe of the heart elongating towards my mouth.

In New Zealand I fell in love with lattes.  As a newly single woman 17 times zones out of balance, cafes seemed to beckon me to them, the promise of caffeine unfogging my mind.

I floated away in nostalgia for a while until the last sip delivered a mouthful of froth, millions of tiny bubbles falling into each other as I swallowed, the sensation playful on my tongue.  Just as I got up to leave the sun broke over the eastern hills, flooded into the window, and splashed against my face.

This is the kind of morning lattes put into motion: beautiful, hopeful, the subtle romance of a lone sun in the expanse of sky reminding me that radiance can exist on its own, breaking through the cold clouds of winter to shine, unaware of any reasons not to, shining for the sake of light, for the sake of living from the core, burning and bright.