I have a morning routine. My hands know it as well as my head. Illuminate the kitchen light. Turn the water on the tap to hot. Add it to the Italian coffee pot, then the coffee above. Twist on the top. Light the gas stove. Put on the coffee. Turn on the radio. Empty the dishwasher. Set the table. Make the toasts or croissants. Open the shutters (the noise wakes up Dominique and signals him to come.)
But wait. This morning, there was Ella. Ella Fitzgerald. Singing Mack the Knife on the radio. I stopped, somewhere in between the table and the stove. And listened. It must have been a live recording. She started the second verse by singing, “I don’t know the words to this verse…” I laughed into the biggest smile. My routine was so joyfully broken. It may be the best version of the song I’ve ever heard. It was so imperfect, but those notes fit exactly into the cracks of my heart.
We think we know the answers. And then we’re given what we need. I string together these words, and hope the melody fills you. I share my smile. Today, maybe you can do the same.