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It’s warm. It’s soothing. It’s magic.
Swimming around inside every cup is the liquid memory of mornings with my grandfather, Girl Scout camping trips, the unfortunate incident when I dumped it on my cold feet at a football game in high school (not a thing I’d recommend), nifty story ideas, and the oh, too-many-to-count incredible conversations I’ve had with interesting people at every time of day and night imaginable.
Hot cocoa is how I start my day, every day, year-round. I like to think of it as coffee without the abrasive attitude. It’s gentle first thing in the morning, allowing me the reliability of at least one moment of enjoyment every day. Even better than that, if I drink it close to bedtime, it won’t keep me awake, and instead soothes me into a happy place where relaxation is easier.
Hot cocoa is the best creative fuel for Drake, my writing Muse. He loves the way the steam warms his feathers and smothers the itchy-scratchy feeling created from a lack of ideas. If there is ever a time when I can’t hear him quack, I pour a cup of hot cocoa, and within moments, his voice returns to me.
Some people look strangely at me when I suggest we meet to share a cup of cocoa and catch up or plan our next exciting event. They sometimes have an incredulous response, “You drink that in summertime?” Yes, and you drink coffee or hot tea in summertime, but I don’t judge.
Sharing time with friends or loved ones, while also sharing a cup (or several) of cocoa is the equivalent for me of all those old-timey westerns, when the cowboys used to pass a bottle of really old alcoholic something, as they emptied their thoughts, concerns, humor, and admiration into the air, guarded by a fire circle. There’s a shared intimacy and trust that happens in those moments that is important, precious, and fleeting. I consider it an honor to be in that space with people, regardless of whether you actually drink hot cocoa, or not. And if you don’t, I’ll still cherish our time together… but recognize, it does mean that there will be one more cup of the chocolate wonderment for me, and I will drink it.
Hot Cocoa isn’t just for snowy winter days, after sledding with children. It’s an opportunity to share in the warmth of friendship, conversation, love, and creativity. Hot Cocoa is a Thing That Makes Life Worth Living.
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