Today is International Tea Day. In the midst of hard and sad news, this somehow made my day. Call it superficial or shallow, but I think life is always better with a cup of tea.
While coffee gives me the zip to start the day, tea helps me to finish it. Tea means friends and family. Tea means rest and calm. Tea means home and hope, and oh how we need both of those.
So I celebrate this day by reposting a piece from a year and a half ago.
I was raised on tea. From early in life the day could be marked by two things: the call to prayer and tea time.
At home it was morning tea with breakfast, and afternoon tea with Nice or Digestive biscuits. At school it was robust desi chai that made up for the terrible boarding school food.
No matter the day everything felt better after you had tea.
And then I had my own family. And I learned that you had to create this time, you had to make time to have tea. It didn’t just happen. And so we did.
For years, beginning in early fall, when twilight comes early and the golden glow of autumn colors our world, we begin to have evening tea time. We continue tea time until the end of spring comes and with it, long days that stretch and make you think time has stopped.
Just like growing up, tea is a ritual that marks the day.
Around 9 pm, whoever is in the house at the time gathers and we drink tea out of sturdy mugs. It could be Earl Grey tea with its oil of bergamot distinctive flavor. It could be mint tea. It could be regular– which for us means a strong Irish Breakfast tea. It could be a fruity passion tea. No matter the kind, it’s tea and we are gathered together.
The day could have held sorrow or joy, tears or anger, frustration or impatience — or perhaps all of those things. We still gather for tea.
And so I love this picture, taken at our cottage in Rockport. And I love the quote on the picture as well. Because something remarkable happens when you sit down for a cup of tea.
Here are some of my favorite quotes on tea:
- Tea! Bless ordinary everyday afternoon tea! Agatha Christie
- You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. C.S. Lewis
- Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage. Catherine Douzel
- Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first? Peter Pan
Thanks so much for being a part of Communicating Across Boundaries and today may you have the joy of drinking tea.
Photo courtesy of Stefanie Sevim Gardner/Word art by Marilyn Gardner