“We are most real when we are drinking tea.” Thich Nhat Hanh
In my younger years, I vividly remember invitations to come for tea, and later in my life opening my home to friends and family as we would gather for a cup of tea, heartfelt conversations, love and laughter. TEA, calming, healing, restorative to body, mind and soul. This beautiful and fragrant substance of many flavors and health benefits is enjoyed by most people around the world. Each culture savoring their favorite time-honored variety, alone in quiet contemplation, with others, or in ceremony. Tea, the ultimate time out for heart and soul.
Thinking of the journey tea takes to arrive at my table and reach my lips, reconnects me with nature and the energy vibrations of plant life. From growth in cooler humid climates at higher elevations to plucking, drying, and crushing. This tropical tea-plant with evergreen origins arrives packaged in glorious splendor waiting for my taste-buds to experience the buttery, caramelized, astringent and perhaps bitter flavors encased in the oils of the tea leaves themselves. I can breathe in the earthy flavors of the soil that brought forth the seeds, feel the cool warm humidity on my skin and eye lashes, and imagine the people who pick and pluck the leaves with gentle caress and care.
I continue to enjoy when others come to my home for a cup of tea. Sharing tea is a way for me to let those nearest and dearest know that they are valued and cherished and their company is appreciated. This mindful act of drinking and sharing tea allows me to focus not only on my own thoughts and words but, on those of the other. In all reality this sacred act with shared purpose is being lost to technology and an ever expanding world in which cultures are transforming and changing. Where mindful actions of connecting with self and others are becoming something of the past. And so I ask the question, can you drink a cup of tea with the same mindfulness while accessing Facebook and Twitter? Does that shared cup of tea evoke the same pleasurable senses over Skype? I certainly do not have the answers but it begs the question. How will our connections with others today remain mindful, evoking the smells and tastes of our cherished tea? China tea cups flowered with various patterns that have been handed down over generations, are now replaced with take out paper cups steeped and sipped on the run, in cars, in haste of our next destination. Just thinking of the chaos catapults me out of my younger year memories and into the here and now. The fast paced world of today. Without judgement one thing is guaranteed in life, nothing stays the same. But, I long to say “Come for Tea” and share my sacred space and stories here, now, together. To breathe in not just the aroma of the tea, but, to inhale your beautiful energy and the essence of who you are. Come for Tea.