Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tea Ritual

I am emailing an artist friend I met online through the Strathmore Artist Workshops. She lives In New Zealand and I am having fun hearing how life, language, and day to day activities there are different or similar to here. Today she tells me she had morning tea with her daughter and is running errands with Mum (her grandmother) before her afternoon tea. This makes me deep sigh for the longing of a tea ritual here in the USA. I love hot tea and I also like iced tea. More often, I find myself carrying an iced tea places rather than sitting down for a cup of hot tea to relax. I'm the "Let's have tea and cookies on the porch personality" but it always seems to get interrupted here.

Regardless I wrote back to her stating how she has inspired me to set a tea ritual into my days. The idea to start a morning with tea and to take a tea break at 4:00pm everyday using a pretty teacup and teapot sounds divine. That idea here would seem strange as everyone runs around carrying to-go cups of super-sized over-caffienated and sugar-laden drinks in plastic bottles (the plastic is another issue here). They swoop through the convenience stores several times a day for these drinks, or for energy shots or pills. I know because I watch the activity as a cashier at a convenience store. How will I take a tea break at 4:00 pm when I work at this busy place 5 days in a row from 2 to 10 pm? Hmmm. That's a challenge but I will take a pretty tea cup to work and a hand embroidered napkin to make it feel nicer. Who can send the cookies? Oh, you say lock the doors for afternoon tea?

The photos are of a tea cup and tea pot that were my mother's. The note beside the teapot is her handwriting explaining where she got the tea pot. It was an "old maid" neighbor whom she loved to visit with and have tea with as a child. Get your china cups and tea pot out of the china closet. Think about tea rituals in other parts of the world, experiment with loose tea versus tea bags, and maybe invite the nighbor in for afternoon tea and cookies. Inspirational resources: Victoria Magazine and they publish a Tea Time magazine now, too. My best to you.

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