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Beginner's Heart

Ernest Shephard drawing, via flickr

Ernest Shephard drawing, via flickr

All week I’ve been on a journey. Well, you  might call it ‘preparing.’ But to me, it’s a journey towards Saturday. Begun (thank you, flu) a full week later than it should have started.

Saturday is my niece’s shower, which I’m giving. 24 family members & friends, all here. For tea. Classic, traditional, afternoon tea. With four tea stations, sweets and savouries, and 2 kinds of decadent cake. One — the berry chantilly cake, from Whole Foods — apparently had achieved cult status even among non-foodies. Who knew??

So I’ve been counting tea cups (yes, I have enough) and teapots (ditto) and tea plates (just don’t expect all of these to match!). My sisters have been printing off the Winnie the Pooh theme materials (sister 4), shuffling work schedules (sister 3), and talking through all the choices (sister 2). Invites were sent out around Christmas, and the procrastinating RSVPers have been rounded up. Somewhere between 19-24. Did I mention there’s flu in Oklahoma?

Today was find-a-new-tea day. I had an excuse to go to Teavana! Whoohoo! I have all kinds of classic teas — the decaf Darjeeling my niece drinks while she’s pregnant, the house black, the house green. But I’m a bit low in the ‘tea for folks who think they may not like tea’ category. Because every one in my family does (like tea).

via flickr

via flickr

I came home w/ 4 new teas, blended masterfully by the young woman at the counter. She also made me take a paper cup of hot tea, the test run for one of the mixes. Matamoro white peach and honeybush vanilla, in case you wondered. That’s what I’m serving early in the shower, at the ‘tea for folks who may not like it’ station.

And in case you’re thinking: this has zip to do w/ beginner’s heart? Think again. If you look at any celebration — especially one fêting such a life-changing event as a first child, and for 24 folks! — you see preparation. You see lists (I have at least 5, to date), shopping (three trips so far, the big one still to come), coordinating, and a lot of time. But if you enjoy all that, it’s no problem. And I do — I adore tea parties!

Like so much of life, there’s a metaphor here. Will the cakes & scones & teas & tea sandwiches be wonderful? I certainly hope (and I’m guessing yes, in case you wonder). Will I have a wonderful time watching my beloved niece, and my cousins, and her friends, and my sisters, all enjoy themselves? Sure. But I’m also having a marvellous time journeying towards Saturday — visiting w/ the knowledgeable (& very generous) Teavana clerk. She just GAVE me 24 honey spoons! How nice was that?

And it’s been soooo much fun talking to my sisters daily about decorations, and teas, and food, and invitees. We even managed to talk one of our sisters-of-the-heart to join us.

In other words, I always knew the shower would be fun. But as I’m finding w/ more & more of my life, the journey is every bit as enjoyable, if you take the time to do just that: enjoy it.

Kind of like not wolfing down the cake, maybe? Anyway — it’s a good thing to remind myself of. Time. To smell the new tea, to remember my mother handling the silver we’ll use  — hers. Time to celebrate this day, this moment. And not just hurry through it all to get to Saturday.

 

 

 

celebrations

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