|A terribly old photo of Cream of Earl Grey that just happened to float up in the shape of a heart, perfectly.|
It all begins with the earliest memory I have about tea. My first sip from my mother's (too sweet for me now) Tetley. I can't remember how old I was, but I remember that, to her, I "was a big girl and was old enough to try it." It wasn't until many years later that it became a faithful ritual of mine to sip away my thoughts with a simple cuppa'.
I say ritual in just the sense. It doesn't matter how your tea gets into your choice of vessel, there is always a ritual of making it, even if one is unaware. From the simplest of tea filters stuffed full of cuttings tossed into a mug. To the finest, freshest of hand rolled tea leaves placed ever so carefully into a pre-warmed teapot. There was a need for the simple (or extravagant) ceremony. In some cultures, it has been preformed just so that every scoop of tea, every twist of the cup, and every sip has a special thought and meaning.
It's that first thought at four in the morning when waking up for work, before the kettle even gets turned on, but just after the thought of "Just five more minutes..." It's the calming component after a long day of work when everything has gone wrong and at least this can make it better. It's the scent wafting up at you while do anything, but sip, that acts like aromatherapy. Letting you drift away until it goes cold.
Tea is a ritual, shared or kept sacred, but never an accompaniment. That's not to say that it can't be great company when one is in need. There is something about tea that has always made it the centrepiece of whatever you're doing. I'm never "having a cup of tea with my knitting", but instead I'm knitting while I have a cup of tea. Even the food we often associate with tea has traditionally be made to pair with tea.
Whether you're sipping your cup of tea with an old, favourite book, chugging it down quickly before running out the door for work, or forgetting it right now as you read these thoughts of mine and it has gone cold (I'm sorry!). The need arises and the ritual begins a new.
, by Miss Cris