Thursday, October 24, 2013

Here is my handle

"Though I cannot flee
From the world of corruption,
I can prepare tea
With water from a mountain stream
And put my heart to rest."

~Ueda Akinara 

I have never been much of a coffee person.

A large part of the reason has to do with the taste of it. Most commercial coffee tastes like very bitter to me and I've never been a person who needs something to help wake up in the morning. It's not a lack of appreciation for the beverage, it's just a personal choice. Hey, anything involving intricate designs of foam on something I plan to eat is a very appetizing concept to me.

Tea, now that is my hot beverage of choice.

Hot chocolate is a very close second, however there are times when hot chocolate is not available. For some reason people don't normally sell hot chocolate in summer months, go figure.

Green tea has always been my goto choice. Not only do I love the antioxidants, but the taste is my favorite.

When I was in Japan we learned about the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This ceremony is an intricate series of steps reflecting on Japanese culture. The tradition has changed throughout the history of Japan and now ritual is not just a celebration of the beverage, but a living glimpse of history. The precise movements, order of events, and mental clarity makes the entire process very relaxing. There is so much information available, if you are unfamiliar with the ceremony I'd advise you to look it up.

Tea, more so than any other food, is a ritual for me.

My mother gave my a little teapot which currently sits next to me as I write this. It's blue with an intricate white flower design and fake gold trim. It's a personal preference to always make a full pot to prolong the tea experience. Even when it is no longer hot, the iced tea is very refreshing. Nothing else in the world works to recharges me as quickly or fully as tea does.

Tea is perfect on cold fall nights wrapped up in a blanket working on a graduate paper. Tea makes me feel calm and able to ignore the world outside for a few minutes. Tea is the perfect drink to share with friends during deep conversations or after a great feast. There are very few moments in time where tea is not an appropriate drink.

So embrace the warmth in a cup and relax for awhile. Forget your worries and take just a second to enjoy the ceremony of the small moments in life. It is often the simplest times we overlook and take for granted because we do them so often. So take care to appreciate the littlest things that make up life. Enjoy it before it gets cold!

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