It’s interesting to note how very different Char and Kat are, and yet how very much the same. And, of course, I mainly take note of what I observe as the ritual of tea.
Kat wanders into the kitchen in her yoga pants and hair in a messy bun, while Char always made a grand entrance in a blue silk smoking jacket and long braid. The placement of the kettle, the lighting of the stove… I don’t know what it is, but I see glimpses of her great-grandmother in a flick of a wrist, a signature pause before action.
And then there is the choosing of the tea. I see this as the brief moment of meditation. A moment when all tea drinkers bring their universe to a halt to contemplate the manner in which their day shall proceed. A simple, yet powerful, decision.
What shall I steep?
A bold black breakfast blend that makes one feel hearty and hale? A smooth green tea that oozes health and well being? An elegant oolong, filled with grace and quiet confidence? The options are limitless on one hand, and yet limited to what is lined up in the trusty tea cupboard. The repertoire of old faithfuls, and the few fancy flings who dazzle with adventure but are not tried and true.
Kat tends to lean back against the opposite counter and tap her foot thoughtfully, considering her day and her options. Char had that same lean, only her eyes sparkled with a sense of purpose on how she was choosing to orchestrate her day. But together, the common denominator is time.
For those precious minutes from when the kettle is set and the whistle begins its song, everything comes to a standstill. All is calm. The world is, in fact, your oyster.
My first pleasure is to observe this ritual. The second, to become the beneficiary of the decision. As the tea is lovingly unwrapped, the tea bag placed in my confines, the boiling water poured, I got to, and now get to, be a part of that Starting Point. Everything that is to come in the day starts with that first steep and first sip.
And it never gets old.
What is your tea ritual?