"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tea and Sympathy

In Japan, the tea ceremony is one of specific rituals, movements, and traditions. It is rich in meaning and history, yet at the same time composed of serene and simplistic aesthetics. It is a social event between people, that is full of peace and harmony.

In the 1600's in England, tea was introduced after making its way through Europe via Holland and France. It was extremely expensive in those early days, thus becoming the afternoon ritual of aristocracy.

In America, the British were reminded that we Americans don't necessarily share their love of the tea leaf; put another tax on us and it's into the harbor it goes...maybe this is when the idea of Starbucks was born! I like coffee, but I love a cup of tea. Most nights I make tea, sometimes cinnamon apple, sometimes honey chamomile....but always steaming hot and sweet with honey or sugar. Admittedly, in the summer, hot tea doesn't soothe as well, and I have been known to resort to a brew of a different nature that also helps me sleep...but that's a whole different post ! (http://pats-dryrun.blogspot.com/2008/02/38-on-lighter-note.html.
I need no ceremony or rituals. I only need the mug, warm in my hands, to bring focus to the important things in my life. The steam carries the troubles from my mind as it rises and disperses them elsewhere. It is a moment to reflect; a moment to pray. It is a spiritual moment for me, without ceremony or history; but full of reflection and peace and harmony.


Anonymous said...

I love a cup of milky, sweet coffee first thing in th emorning. But after that, when I want a hot drink it's treat. Constant Cooment, green tea, chamomile - I agree about the warmth in my hand and breathing in the fragrant steam being meditative.

pat said...

I keep Constant Comment on my desk at work!

Anonymous said...

Coffee in the morning, tea at night. So goes my song. :-)

CountryDreaming said...

Your teacup photo displays a lovely elegance. Here I sit, enjoying a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea imported from England. My father introduced me to tea as a child, with plenty of milk, sugar, and a silly little song that went, "Sip it slowly and you'll see, that you have a lot more tea!"