Today I made my tea in a mug, on a cutting board, with a plastic spoon. Big deal, huh? Unless you know me, and know that almost every day I make tea in a pot, on a tray spread w/ one of the many tea cloths I have, and drink it from a china cup and a silver spoon. Sometimes the spoon my Aunt Leona gave my mother when I was born, in my mother’s pattern. Engraved with my family name.
Yup. I’m that girl.
It comforts me to connect with women I knew long ago & far away — some family (Aunt Leona), some not-quite. Some closer than family. This teapot is from my niece, a dragon, and Yixing clay. Because she knew I’d love it. The creamer & sugar my beloved mother-in-laws. The tongs my mother’s. The tray my husband bought me, so I’d have enough room for all my ritual.
But today, since life is far more hectic in grandson-ville, I did as I’ve done every day since I arrived: boiled water in the kettle, poured it into the small filter I brought last visit, over tea I had shipped here. Set the tea filter in the dish drainer, and stirred my milk & sugar in with a plastic spoon (the dishwasher is running, per usual). No glass creamer & sugar. No tongs. Nothing fancy or tea-ish.
And you know what? It was GREAT! Still the same Queen Catherine’s from Harney’s. Still the same ritual of choose the tea (I shipped TWO)/ warm the cup/ pour the water through the leaves. Add raw sugar (they don’t have Demerara, and I’m okay with that), milk, and stir. Then inhale deeply, and the world stills. Steam rises, the cup fills with fragrance, and I breathe in. For a moment, the world is perfectly balanced. Still.
Even with a plastic spoon instead of Aunt Leona’s almost-heirloom. Even in a mug. Even off a cutting board. I’m sure there’s a beginner’s heart lesson there, somewhere…