Solitude, and coffee

Coffeneuring Ride 7

WHERE: Coffee Shop without Walls, in the LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac

www.nps.gov/lyba

WHEN: Saturday, 19 November 2016

WHAT I DRANK: Fresh ground Swing’s Sumatra, made with an Aeropress.

WHY GO: On a 70 deg F day in November, its hard to stay indoors.

HOW FAR: 9.5 miles round trip (Strava link)

I’d be lying to say I am immune to fear about what the future holds, in this rough post-election week.  Especially for the Earth and its climate.  Recently I learned that the North pole is, quite literally, melting and temperatures are an “insane” 36 degrees (20 Celsius) above normal. Regardless of how ideology might seep into the discussion, these facts are measurable and indisputable.

But a day like today, which started sunny and irresistibly warm, is part of the antidote to fear and worry.  I strapped on Vaya’s red trunk bag filled with coffee accoutrements, and headed for the LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac.  It has always been one of my favorite stop-overs on a commute into DC, but today it drew me for the same reasons it drew Lyndon Johnson.  Nature, scenery, and the perspective one gains by watching the nation’s capital from across the river.

The interpretive sign behind the monolith commemorates the historic time when Johnson signed the Water Quality Act in 1965, which later evolved into the Clean Water Act, now the primary Federal law governing water pollution.  Its headline, “Tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” Johnson’s full quote was “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose. I am resolved that we shall win the tomorrows before us.”  Memorable words from his Thanksgiving day address to the nation only days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on the streets of Dallas, TX.  To Americans who were heartbroken and mourning, Johnson spoke words of strength and resolve.

The sign went on to say “Today, we proclaim our refusal to be strangled by the wastes of Civilization. Today, we begin to be masters of our environment.

As I mentioned, I’ve been to this grove dozens of times.  I’ve stopped at the monolith, I’ve read the sign before.  Today, somehow, the words I needed to hear jumped out at me in this scenic spot on a gorgeous day, and helped my soul to heal a little.  Thank you, President Johnson.

Wondering where I could make coffee, I spotted a picnic table on the river side of the memorial, sheltered by shady Virginia pine trees.  Perfect. There I unloaded the trunk bag, fired up my camp stove, and proceeded to grind Swing’s Sumatra beans with my portable mini burr grinder.  I had brought along my own milky concoction (whole milk and half-n-half in equal parts) for my coffee, and a book to read.  I drank two cups, and read two chapters, taking refuge in the grove created by Lyndon Johnson, and solace in his timeless and historical words.

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~ by pasadenagina on November 19, 2016.

One Response to “Solitude, and coffee”

  1. Beautiful entry

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