Tea time


My life is a mess. From recently stolen cash to a swollen foot to a sore throat, things are not going my way so far in the New Year.

But instead of letting Calgon(tm) take me away, I’m sipping a cup of Orange Spice tea.

By now we pretty much all know that tea is physiologically healthy for us. Antioxidants, herbs, yadda yadda yadda.

But what’s more important for me right now is the spiritual and emotional connection. Tea may not bring me closer to God, per se, but in subtle ways it brings me closer to myself and a bit closer to inner peace.

It’s not the tea itself, really, but rather the fact that I’m taking time out of my day to sip rather than gulp, to enjoy something that’s not processed or sugar coated or microwaved or vitamin-fortified.

Just soothing, natural warmth. And it brings back fond memories of my year in Germany, where a wonderful family invited me over every Sunday for a leisurely lunch, followed a bit later by an equally-relaxing afternoon spot of Kaffe und Kuchen (not-too-sweet and just-right German cake).

When I’m taking a break with my warm cup, I try not to think about how the world is speeding up, increasingly pushing things and feelings and impulses and demands in Internet time. I try not to consider the sadness of European countries — for ages the model of work/life balance — rapidly adopting the no-naps paltry-vacation American work ‘ethic’.

No, I do my best to let the tea or coffee linger on my tongue. I take a moment to stand up, walk around, resist the temptation to check my e-mail every 30 seconds, and just pause for a moment to be thankful for the blessings I still have.

Good friends that embrace me when I’m there and miss me when I’m not. Overall health. A loving family that worries about me because they care. A roof over my head with an understanding roommate.

And my cup of tea. Cooler now, it’s still soothing.

I hope whatever company I end up at will still respect my tea time. Pausing even briefly for reflection isn’t just good for the soul, it undoubtedly is good business, after all.

As Homer Simpson would say: Tea! Is there anything it can’t do?

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