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?