Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tea for Thought

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for this opportunity to participate in Slice of Life!


I have a tea date today. A close friend and colleague, she is leaving our school this year. I will miss seeing her in the hallways and mail room, the surprise notes and gifts left on my desk.

But our meeting is a hopeful reminder of a friendship that has extended beyond the context of work. And however anachronistic it might seem, this is not my first friendship that has been nurtured, in part, through the ritual of tea.

Mary Cassat: Afternoon Tea Party

In elementary school, a friend and I set dates for after-school tea and cookies. Sharing our return bus ride stirred anticipation of confidences disclosed over Earl Gray and the aptly named Constant Comment. We grieved my grandmothers' deaths over tea, its aroma like incense. The bitter essence of leaves, the sweet fragrance of dried fruit and flowers, fills conversational pauses and stimulates reflection. As the leaves brew, thoughts acquire their own potency and flavor, ripening to savor in conversation.

My first, somewhat tumultuous year of teaching, I discovered a tea shop close to home. Stuffed with impossibly aromatic leaves, it quickly became a haven for me. Possibly a heaven--a gracious, meditative answer to the neighborhood sports bar. I mourned its eventual closing, but spaces like this endure, as do occasions for tea.

6 comments:

  1. Megan,
    I'm not a tea drinker, but have always been in love with the idea of tea. There always seems to be something relaxing and therapeutic about tea. Not to mention the way it is often brought out in a dark cherry box of possibilities. Coffee, though therapeutic in its own way, never makes an entrance quite like that.

    Enjoy the time with your friend. I'm sure more tea dates are to follow as you continue to support and learn from one another over tea.

    Cathy

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    1. You are right; I think the ceremony associated with tea is part of its appeal. It makes an otherwise casual meeting special. Thank you for your reflections.

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  2. Treasure your friendships and make regular tea dates. I wrote about my friend Ginny on Sunday who I have been meeting for lunch for 27 years. Your friends become part of the fabric of your life, they mirror who you are and who you have been.

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    1. I agree; thank you for the reminder. I enjoyed your tribute to Ginny, an extraordinarily inspiring friend.

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  3. I love how you reflected on your elementary tea dates! This slice inspired me to set aside some time for dessert and coffee with friends...long overdue.

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    1. Thanks! I am so glad you connected with this.

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