Thursday, August 29, 2013

Time For Tea Anyone?

This summer has been a whirlwind for me. I have no idea where the days and weeks have gone but alas, my favorite time of year is approaching. I am crazy about the autumn months. Thoughts of curling up with a book and something warm to drink dance in my head. I'm all about making time for friends over tea or coffee. Unfortunately, our society isn't wired this way anymore.

One of the pleasantries of living in the old south was the practice of hospitality. Life was hard. They needed one another so relationships were of value. I love the ritual of daily tea time when there was a dedicated time of slowing...of visiting with neighbors. There were many things I abhor about the old south but they did get a few things right. While my ancestors did not originate here, I've adopted some of the practices into my home and made them my own. (I also recognize there were other practices in other parts of our great country. I just happen to live in the south.)

Recently, I was invited to the home of one of my closest friends for an afternoon Tea Tasting. We were presented with several different kinds of teas, set out in her beautiful dining room. As we drank from dainty china teacups, I imagined ladies a century ago doing the same. Though their clothing may have looked a little different and possibly their homes were a little different, their conversation probably centered around the same topics as ours...children, school, church and personal issues. I doubt that the deepest concern of the day was the weather, although it could have been if their crops weren't doing well.

Tea Tasting at Kim's (Third from left)
Women need each other...then and now. We need the community of friendship. My friend Kim, who hosted the gathering is busy planning her daughter's wedding, just sent another daughter off to the U.S. Marine Corps, and was preparing to return to her teaching job, yet found the time to plan this lovely afternoon. She not only nourished our bodies, she nourished our souls as well.




As we sat in the cool of her dining room sipping tea, sharing our lives, there was a sweetness, a blending of hearts that took place.

Time...we all have the same amount. We choose how we're going to use it.

So how will you spend your time as the Autumn months trek toward us? Will you be tailgating in a football stadium somewhere? Don't go alone...find another family to invite. Maybe you'll make a trip to the mountains wherever you live. A bonfire with smores is always a fun activity in the Fall. Rake a pile of leaves for your children to jump into. Invite your neighbors...get to know the people who live next to you. The opportunities are endless. We have so much for which to be thankful and family and friends are at the top of my list.

Slow down...smell the coffee...or the leaves...or whatever your neck of the woods is famous for. Your children are only babies once...trust me, they do remember and they will remind you...regularly! Our fondest memories are of the simple things...backyard cookouts with our neighbors...climbing trees...playing in the sandbox...homemade ice cream...a community of friendship. Don't let time slip away from you.

Our afternoon of tea tasting made memories for all of us. People are worth the investment of our time whether it's the nineteenth century or the present. Hospitality never goes out of style...hoop skirts maybe, but never extending an invitation to deepen a friendship.

If you'll excuse me, I hear the tea kettle whistling.

Blessings from My Little Corner,
Cindy

2 comments:

  1. I too have a teapot collection, a cupboard full of tea, and friends with whom I cultivate friendships over tea. It truly is a gentle custom of civility, perhaps made even more precious by a chaotic world.

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  2. I agree Jo Ann...there is something about the ritual of tea that just causes us to slow our pace. I see we've found one more thing we have in common...teapots! I also have many teacups and books about tea. I'm thinking we would be great friends!

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