Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


tea & beginner’s heart ~

In my next life, should I have one, I’m willing to come back as tea. A nice, comforting China black, preferably. Keemuns — Hao YaPanyangs – even a Muscatel-fragranced Darjeeling, although I like milk and raw sugar in my tea, usually.

Tea is the perfect metaphor for beginner’s heart. It doesn’t ask anything of you, comforts and lifts, is there whenever you need it. Unlike coffee, it doesn’t jazz you — just a gentle kind of awakening, like the effervescence of good conversation. And unlike alcohol, it can’t be abused. Can never really harm you…

Today, as I made my Panyang Congou, brewed it in a pot bought in another lifetime, poured it out into a cup given me more than 20 years ago, I thought of what I’ve learned from tea. Of the cultures that revere it, built empires on it, drink it w/ every meal.

I thought of drinking mint tea from tiny glasses rimmed in gold, sweetened almost to syrup, w/ women who spoke no English, but who had become dear friends. I remembered how we grew closer as we sipped the scalding hot tea, taking turns telling stories in French. And there were women who sat at my table for 8 years, weaving our lives together over pots of strong black tea, sweetened w/ rough-cut cubes of raw sugar, lightened w/ milk. There was the sweet ice tea of my two grandmothers, the thin jasmine tea of my childhood, the milky cambric tea  my sons drank as young children…

Sometimes there were treats — cookies, cupcakes, the honey sweets of North Africa, the pies and cobblers of Oklahoma. For my children I would make vanilla bread with chocolate butter. Now, I buy chocolate cherry  bread for my grandnieces and grandnephew. And they eat it as they drink from their tiny cups of cambric tea.

Each of these was perfect for the time, the setting, the friends and family with whom I shared them. I want to be more like this ~ able to meet my friends, my family, the world, where they are. Offering what they need. With love, warmth and a bit of elegance. Cookies would be nice, too.

 



Previous Posts

letting go, or, what teaching teaches
You know that old joke about giving a party and nobody comes? Well, for presenters, it's a truism. I've given workshops w/ only one person (and she left early!). Last night, however, was a new one, even for me. A

posted 4:57:15pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

afternoon break
I should be working on the presentation I'm giving in...oh, 3 hours. :) I should be figuring out what to fix for dinner before I go. I should... I should. Instead, tea break. A cup of good ol' house tea -- Panyang Congou from Harney's, And plain vanilla macarons from the Whole Foods bakery. Bl

posted 4:51:14pm Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

health, gadgets, and technology
I am NOT good at the boredom of keeping healthy. I blew my knees running. My joint replacement put paid to treadmilling. I hate my recumbent bike (and no, I don't know why, except that it's boring). So cardi

posted 12:14:13pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

adventures and distances
We're big on adventures in my family. My beloved enlisted in the Marines during Việt Nam because he wanted to see what it was like. (My mother-in-law -- loopy about many things -- STILL goes ballistic if you ment

posted 12:48:05pm Sep. 14, 2014 | read full post »

small signs from the universe
I believe in signs. I believe that the universe -- some might say god, I probably wouldn't :) -- talks to you. Where I last worked FT, the joke on the 4th floor (where I officed) was Britton believes the universe

posted 3:24:29pm Sep. 13, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.