Saturday, May 9, 2015

A little Tea will do wonders

Some days, you could be on the most beautiful white sandy beach, but walking it could still seem like an arduous grind.  

I have found that life, even when chock full of charm and blessings and abundant beauty still needs to be approached with plenty of measure.   

Years before plunging into my beloved North American lifestyle of go go go, I lived another life as a child growing up in Iran, where every afternoon would include a deliberate pause for freshly brewed tea.  

I remember the adults in the house (which seemed to consist of my mother, grandmother and an array of visiting family and friends) sitting for afternoon tea.    It was a casual affair, but when I look back I can certainly recall an unspoken ceremony to it all.  The tea was always piping hot.  Always served in the same clear short glasses atop little china saucers, on the side of a heaping bowl of sugar cubes that wouldn't easily dissolve in your mouth.   

The conversation was always leisurely, cheerful, light.  I would kneel by the coffee table, always taking far too many sugar cubes than appropriate for a such a short glass of tea, always sipping my hot tea far too eagerly and far too loudly.  And always being teasingly reminded by one of the smiley adults not to rush it. 

Later, when I traveled as an adult, I marveled to find this same ritual in France and Italy and Spain and Hawaii...  Not necessarily a tea service, but a deliberate rest smack in the middle of a busy day.  A deliberate savoring.  An Aloha spirit.

Our days are so busy these days.  Even as I observe my parents and in laws in retirement.  My children in their childhood activities.  Mr. Urban and I, busy parents, passionate in our professions, loving homemakers, sincere in our interests and hobbies... the drum beats on and we move with it.  Our insatiable verve for life, for learning, for teaching, for experiencing means we must multi-task, we must organize, we must plan.  We must listen to podcasts at 2x speed so we can take in more of a beautiful thing.  I carry 2 books in my already heavy purse in case of a moment of delay to savor a line or two...  

I recall, our Springtime and early Summertime childhood outings in Iran, in the mad rush before the arrival of the Summer heat, everyone wanted to take in as much of the outside nature as they could.  I was always puzzled when the elders, the grandmothers, the aunts, would interrupt the playing, the running, the hiking, and insist on an afternoon rest on the Persian rug, dragged out to the nature along with the rest of the picnic gear.  The afternoon time would be whiled away napping by some, and playing card games, muffled giggling, and sharing secrets by others...   It was hard to comprehend then the value of this imposed rest, and as soon as we were given the nod we would sprint off the rug to run free and collect stones and sticks...

But today, I get it more and more each day.  That to thrive, our bodies and our souls can only take all good things in moderation.

Weekend Afternoon Tea - Amidst play dates, birthday parties, events, and activities..

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