Aug 11, 2007
I think everyone can agree that certain foods and beverages have magical powers. Tea—particularly proper British tea—has the power to cure the sniffles. The chicken and rice from a cart on 53rd and 6th in Manhattan has the magical ability to allow young, urban adventurers to keep walking six more hours all the way through sunrise. However, the most magical of all is hot chocolate.
The first night in the Three Sisters Wilderness, my soul had gone into hibernation. Souls tend to do that when it gets cold and windy. I was left with only my reptile brain, giving me a vague fantasy of basking on a rock in full sun. Despite my desire to crawl into the tent and continue dreaming of warmer weather, the professor insisted that we stay outside and wait for him to make hot chocolate. He would share, he promised. After shivering for a while, we could all finally stir the chocolate powder into the boiling water.
Sipping the hot chocolate elixir, the heat spread from inside my soul to the tips of my fingers. I could think human thoughts again, and I remembered all the other times that hot chocolate had magically brought me back. In elementary school, Mrs. Knab dispensed Swiss Miss after every rainy day of traffic patrol with the same enlivening effect, and I realized that throughout human history, people have realized this exact same thing that my gradeschool teacher must’ve understood. For example, Montezuma drank hot chocolate several times a day, from gold beakers which were destroyed after only one drink. Though Aztec backpackers would have been out of luck; only Aztec leaders were allowed to drink hot chocolate. They wanted to themselves the special powers it gave them. I finally understood the big deal: hot chocolate is magic.
“Now was the hot chocolate worth it?”
I smiled. It wasn’t really a question; he could see that I now understood the powers of hot chocolate too.