Thursday, January 10, 2008
I've just heated some water and put it in my little ceramic teapot. I bought the teapot to match the handmade Japanese teacups that a friend from Japan brought me when he visited my home a few years ago. They are simple, eggshell colored with earthy specks in them. No handles, so they require two hands to savor the tea. They are simple elegance, and they are treasured gifts from one of the most humorous and genuine human beings I've met.
I've placed in the tea-bong dried chamomile flowers from two sources: from the small tin that my eldest daughter, just turned 21, gave me for Christmas, and from the collection of chamomile that I grew this past summer in planters in the front yard. My daughter knew to give me chamomile tea for Christmas because she grew up watching me tend my little gardens and all so often helping me with her little girl hands to pull the chamomile flowers off for our little stash. To her it was a game. To her father, it was a cherished little tea before bedtime. This gift was a beautiful token of her memory. And the flowers of my own to add? Well, they are my personal connection to this marvelous earth we live on. She truly keeps me sane, keeps me healthy. She makes me smile every day. She gifts me with chamomile flowers for tea.
And now, as I type this, I pause to pour a cup of the tea which has been steeping while I write these words. The tea sits in my cherished cup, slightly amber, or is it slightly green. That wonderful aroma of chamomile touches my nose--is it apples or is it dirt that I smell? And the taste? What is that taste?
Tender flowers? Gentle apples? Sweet childhood become young womanhood? Cherished friendship stretched half-way round the world? Yes. All these. And the wonderful gift of Gaia. Outside, winter storms brew, here in the South turning into threatening tornadoes. But, for this moment, with this cup of tea in my hands, warmth, tenderness, beauty, grounding, and this wonderful moment.