Time for Tea, Time for Me

This was a busy day, in a busy week that will continue at such a pace through the weekend. I do not have big blocks of time for creative projects. However, these daily actions have become quite important to me, and it is crucial to make time for what is vital to me. The universe seems to be aware of my schedule. 

Today I drew:

Have tea in the garden. 

Some of my creative activities take more time to complete than others. During this packed out week, I’m consistently selecting activities that aren’t time consuming. This ongoing conversation with the Divine…it delights and amazes me. I sighed with happiness over today’s action.

Because of the warm temperatures today, I had a late tea. And rather than sitting in the backyard garden, I chose to have tea on my covered front deck. My house is surrounded by gardens. The backyard paradise is by far the most extensive one, however, I enjoy spending time working in all of them. 

I have container gardens on the breezy front deck, a ficus tree and five hanging baskets. When I drew this slip of paper, I knew this was the perfect location for an evening cup of tea. 

I began my tea time experience by brewing a cup using fresh thyme from my garden. I snipped a couple of sprigs and steeped them in hot water for 20 minutes. Thyme has many health benefits, including warding off colds and flus. Unfortunately, this afternoon I have felt like I am catching a cold. In spite of the day’s warmth, I looked forward to sipping this hot savory brew. 

While the tea steeped in a covered cup, I set up a small wooden table on the deck and covered it with a vintage tablecloth. A small vase of daisies adorned the table. I lit 28 candles in various holders scattered around the deck. I know…who does that when it’s hot outside? The one who loves being surrounded by beauty and having her heart pierced by it. 

I settled into the porch swing as the sky darkened, flickering candlelight soothing me as much as the steaming thyme tea. Fireflies appeared around the deck, their flashing lights mimicking the twinkling flames on the deck. Peace surrounded me as well, diminishing my weariness and the throbbing in my head. 

The arrow of desire did not fly far to strike its intended target today. Quite simply, I needed this break, this time of quieting myself and slowing down and practicing loving self care. I’m tired and not feeling my best…and I drew an action that asked me to hit the pause button for a few minutes. These are all strong signals that I need to pay attention to myself and adjust what I’m doing. 

So many cultures around the world practice an afternoon tea time. The British and Scottish are well known for this daily tradition, as are the Chinese and Japanese. I love the custom. It is fairly easy for me to observe tea time in the winter months. I tend to skip it during the warmer seasons. I must remedy that. 

Henry James said, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

That hour is very agreeable indeed. And sustaining and refreshing and restorative. Perhaps I’ll attach this slip of paper to the whiteboard in my studio, as a visible daily reminder to take time for tea, take time for me. 

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