An Awakening

Lotus Flower, Chùa Linh Ứng, Đà Nẵng

It is time again for transformation, another chance to rise from the murky water.

I found this lotus flower in Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam while visiting the Lady Buddha on Son Tra peninsula. In Buddhism, the lotus flower symbolizes enlightenment and spiritual awakening amidst suffering and desire. While I am far from enlightenment, this new year feels different – more alive, vibrant, and consequential.

Although I took a break from posting my poetry, I feel compelled to return to this space to write, create, and produce whatever surfaces and simply send it out into the world. The only commitment I am making, is to return to the page, no matter what.

Mỹ Khê Beach, Đà Nẵng

What else did I find on the shores of central Việt Nam? Coffee, so much coffee.

There are so many places to sit down, close to the ground on small chairs, and watch the world while enjoying a cup or more of coffee. On days when we had nothing to do we would walk aimlessly until we hit a coffee shop and then stay there for a while. 

Nháy Craft Beer & Coffee, Đà Nẵng

Việt Nam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee and apparently the name of said coffee is not Arabica, but Robusta. I love it.

A shot of espresso, hot. A cappuccino with luscious whole milk. A malty, sweet cà phê sữa đá followed by a bite of a tiny baguette filled with pate. Every other store front on any given major or small street in Đà Nẵng is a coffee shop or coffee and draft beer bar. It is no wonder why Starbucks only has a handful of stores in this country, the competition from independently owned shops and wonderful Vietnamese coffee franchises is fierce. The coffee culture here is so varied, creative, and accessible. 

Cà phê

Maybe that’s why I left Đà Nẵng with this newfound something. The mix of Robusta and condensed milk has seeped into my veins, it’s not enlightenment, it’s a caffeine high. Whatever it is – I’m in. 

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