Common Ground

There is an unsaid common ground that comes from the bitterness of a morning coffee, something that people who would otherwise be miles apart can find solidarity in. It is the mundane of the daily routine, of the commute or the school run or the library session. It springs to the forefront of people’s minds as they awake to the world. It connects you to strangers, to the neighbour you see through their kitchen window as they finish their final sip before rushing out the door, to the person sat next to you on the train with their takeaway cup as you hurtle towards the city, to the barista you see every morning in all of your moods as they hand over your steaming lifeline.

It’s simplicity brings us together beyond the mornings, past the sleepy thoughts and into the challenges of the day. Into the afternoon meetings, the catch up with an old friend, the ‘would anyone like a coffee?’ at the end of a dinner party. It’s an ongoing feature, a comfort, a necessity, a habit, a treat. Communities form themselves around it as though it’s the heart, it pulls people towards a fleeting shared moment in the madness of their days.

I know I’m romanticising again but I’m in awe of the abundance of something so simple, of the daily presence of it in the lives of so many, lives that are so individual and far apart but not really. I’ve been thinking about this on my morning tube journey, we get the same trains, shop at the same places, cook the same things, read, watch and listen to the same things, drink the same things. There is simultaneously a world of similarities and differences within all of us. How wonderful.

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