Personally, I’m a coffee drinker.
But I absolutely adore going to my children’s tea parties at their school. Okay, I confess, I smuggle my travel mug full to the brim with the hot, dark, bitter essence-of-life (read: drug) that I require every morning to just remember how to inhale and exhale. But I still take little sips of the lukewarm herbal tea that my 5yo son, with such sweet joy and deliberate steps, carries so very very very carefully to out little table: a tiny little table decorated by the children the day before the party, in preparation for this celebration of their community, with a tiny little gingham check table cloth and a tiny little bud vase usually containing a carnation or freesia that cheerfully takes my mind off the discomfort of wedging myself onto a tiny little chair made for a tiny little person doing important, mind-expanding, soul-improving work.
I love the pride the children take in serving tea and mini-muffins to their parents and grandparents. I love the dignity the children absolutely radiate as they oh-so-carefully set each cup and plate down on the table. I love how these adorable children, who usually bounce off and roll on top of each other like a litter of puppies, manage to tame that wild, kinetic energy, and slow down their little bodies for half an hour, to celebrate – with such innocent reverence – the civilities of life.
For some reason, this morning’s tea party reminded me of a poem I read long ago.
The autumn leaves are falling like rain.
Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.
~ T’ang Dynasty Poem
Though it’s winter, and not fall, the sentiment remains the same: that, as busy and crazy and hectic as life can get, there’s value in taking a moment, however brief and hard to come by, to sit down with our dearest friends and family members, and sip a cup of tea. I am so pleased to see my son learning this lesson so early in life. And I am honored to share a cup of tea at his table.
Though, I wonder… would it be okay to ask for coffee, instead?