Everything slows down when it’s time to make tea. The process of filling the tea kettle with water and waiting for it to boil is a sure and steady one. While the water boils, I set out my favorite cup and select a tea to suit the moment. This could be calming, invigorating, soothing, healing, or simply delicious. The kettle whistles when it’s done and I pour the water over the tea, patiently letting it seep. As I wait, I look forward to meeting me in a cup of tea.
I anticipate my cup of herbal tea, but I’m uncharacteristically patient. This process is all part of a complete tea experience that I look forward to throughout the day. A cup of tea means stepping away from the every day, push and pull, rush-to-get-it-done; even if just for a few minutes.
I feel myself slowing down as the kettle picks up steam, preparing to relax and enjoy. That feeling remains with me after my first sip. I patiently wait for the tea to cool, then leisurely drink it for however long it takes. I sip it hot or lukewarm; savoring the scent and taste.
In the process, I am meeting me in a cup of tea. Not the frazzled mom, not the multi-tasker, not depressed me; but me at the core. I find myself reflecting, savoring, and simply stopping to be. I’ve never quite figured out meditation, but tea might be the closest I’ve ever come to zen.
Life often picks up again before I’m even close to finishing my cup. My tea accompanies me on school drop offs, to meetings, and while I work in my home. I might pick up speed, but my tea reminds me to be patient, to take things one step at a time, to take a deep breath and try again.
The best part? When one cup is done, I can make another; the tea experience centering me all over again. I can choose a high quality tea and feel good about making another cup. When I want to feed my frustrations with sugar, when I find old food habits creeping in, I make a cup of tea.