The Arizona Mug

On February 3, 2015, I bought a mug in a hotel gift shop. While I took my time choosing my favorite, the purchase was not in any way intended to be auspicious. It was simply that I was staying for a week-long training, and I needed something bigger than an espresso cup to drink my morning tea. 

I didn’t know it at the time, but that day, and all that happened on it, marked the start of a seismic shift in the trajectory of my life. When I returned home, drinking tea from the mug became a daily ritual – a devotion of sorts; each sip from the slender rim filling my heart with gratitude, the tears pricking behind my eyes as I acknowledged the care of so many guides, angels and loved ones – human and otherwise – who’d met their soul appointments to help direct my path.

As my new life unfolded, my daily devotion continued, right up until about three weeks ago when, in an act of careless inattention, I took the mug out of the dishwasher and bashed it on the granite countertop.

While it was “only” a mug, I was devastated.

In a true labor of love, my husband got to work. A master-gluer since the tender age of 8 years old when his football held an impromptu meeting with his mother’s ornaments, he specialized in cosmetic repairs that bought valuable time between breakages and their eventual discovery. Yet, while he was miraculously able to restore my mug’s appearance, sadly, it was only partially teaworthy.

A scouring of the internet for souvenir Arizona mugs confirmed what I already suspected – this was not some mass-produced Starbucks collectible that could easily be replaced. I wondered if it might have been hand-thrown, but without another to compare it with, I couldn’t be sure. I could have kicked myself for not taking better care of it.

I had all but given up hope when, having scrolled through every mug design imaginable, I found one just like it on Ebay. It’s slightly squatter with a thicker rim than mine. It feels marginally heavier in the hand. The hand-painted design shows the sun at a different angle and a little farther away from the mountain; perhaps because it was painted later in the day. But it’s a true kiln-sister of my mug, and it represents so much.

As I resume my daily devotion, I add two sips of gratitude. One for the artist who made both mugs. The second for the stranger who listed one on Ebay, for just a klutz like me.



PS: If anyone happens to recognize the work and can put me in touch with the artist, I’d love to make a connection ❤️.