Thursday, February 26, 2009

Time for tea

I woke up this morning greeted by the smell of brownies lingering from last night's baking. We're having a tea gathering tonight. I'm pondering the tea selection. Lavender flowers might suit the occasion. There's something about warm treats and tea that soothes on these windy, wintery nights.  

While "tea" has come to include all kinds of beverages, the vibe of "tea time" or in Japanese tea ceremony "tea mind" continues. Traditions change and new ones emerge. Take Bubble tea for instance. I discovered this a few years ago at a lovely, no-nonsense teahouse in New York's chinatown called Ten Ren. At first I was skeptical of this Taiwanese concoction. Then the little girl in me got a taste and there's been no going back. Those goofy tapioca bubbles or "pearls" transport like Alice through the looking glass. 

You can try this too. As your eye focuses through a wide neon-hued straw, imagine diving for pearls. One slurp and you're there. Here. How many doorways open when we let them?

In so many cultures, the experience of preparing and drinking tea is a time to enjoy time itself. Whether it's with a tea bag or loose leaf, hands know what to do. Their skill and presence is a marvel if we give ourselves time to notice, to appreciate. Ears attune and the heart opens. Amazing how something so ordinary inspires and connects. 

I hear the birds singing. Spring is in the air. Or is it just this cup of tea?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The sap is rising and the sun is shining in New York City.

 I decided to launch this blog today because this day for me is all about wonder. It is Tu B'shvat, a Jewish holiday, which celebrates the New Year for Trees. With agricultural roots and mystical branches, it brings together intention and action. It's a great day for new beginnings. Some plant trees, some plant seeds of intention. 

There is a beautiful phrase (Exodus 3:14), which encapsulates the intention to flow anew and tap into what is unseen while deeply felt: "Eheye asher eheye: I am what I am becoming."

Who am I? A question that challenges me to reflect. 

Being this koan, embracing who as what and when as where, reveals what is so often unseen, especially when I get stuck in the mud of labels.  

Why this blog?

Because healing in relationship to me is an experience of being mud and roots and branches. Moment by moment, this process helps me to tap into what truly matters - you. Me and you.

And right now, me needs to eat. I hear a raw chocolate smoothie calling. . . and then a stroll through the park. . . and then, I really don't know.