Advertisement

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

inside/outside: it's that ageing thing, again
  When I was about the age of the picture, I asked my grandmother (who was probably 10 years older than I am now) how it felt to get old.  She laughed ruefully & shook her head. I look in the mirr

posted 5:36:36pm Mar. 31, 2015 | read full post »

the Zen of whatever
I love to cook. At least most of the time. And when I'm happiest doing it -- making something I like to eat, w/out a deadline or people I worry won't like it -- cooking feels much like meditation. So does garde

posted 7:09:03pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

spring, and the promise of a fresh start
Today when I filled bird feeders, I looked out over the yard. Everywhere there's the flush of rose & pink, and the backdrop of pale green that only comes in spring. Once I had the sunflower tr

posted 12:33:52pm Mar. 29, 2015 | read full post »

the Beatitudes, Buddhism, and living a good life
A discussion on my FB page began w/ my heartfelt anger at recent attempts (many successful) to discriminate against gay & trangender men & women. An old friend & former colleague pointed out that mo

posted 2:02:19pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

pets vs kids, and what we spend our money on...
My dogs are pretty indulged. Even (dare I confess?) spoiled. They have soft little beds in their kennels, fleecy things I wash regularly, and replace when the dogs chew holes in them. There is an American-made br

posted 3:56:31pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.