This is not just another collection of quotes, though that too. This is an epiphany for me. Tea, I see, is the one thing that has been a constant interest and daily practice for much of my life. When I was coming into my womanhood wave, I drank Celestial Seasonings teas, and saved the tins and the quotes and relished the reflection I found there. I went through a stage, rough on wallet and body, of over-indulgence in Snapple mango teas, packed with sugar and other things that were not tea.
Still I drank hot tea and tisanes (a name for tea made from herbs and not from the tea plant Camellia sinensis), and brought a small plug in kettle when I moved to New York City to begin college. There my dear roommate, who had a passion about herbs and ethnobotany and all kinds of interesting things, and I explored many worlds, and drank lots of tea.
Tea has become my trademark, if I were to have one. When I reflect on "not knowing what I want to do when I grow up," and wonder what the materia of my alchemy is (thanks to Thomas Moore's A Life at Work), I reflect on my daily life and interests, and I come back again and again to tea. Yes, I study and want to study more of herbalism, tea ceremonies, brew times, wild herb gathering, tea cultivation, the economics of tea.
What I hold onto is more simple - summer or winter, up or down, when I wake up I make tea. When I am sitting and reflecting, or wanting to make that space, I drink tea. When I gather with friends, or don't feel too well, or need a break, I make tea. It's probably the best addiction I have, and I'm feeling a new blog devoted to tea coming on. Although I appreciate writing this blog on "whatever comes up," I'm feeling a need to synthesize and integrate, and whenever I've done that in my post 1990 life (and sometimes before that), tea's been there. Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all. ~Kahlil Gibran. And I bring tea, and the love that has always come with it for me.
Come oh come ye tea-thirsty restless ones - the kettle boils, bubbles and sings, musically ~Rabindranath Tagore
There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea. ~ Gary Snyder
"Now you understand the Oriental passion for tea," said Japhy. "Remember that book I told you about the first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy. ~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. ~Thich Nat Hahn