Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Seeping Wisdom in Tea Leaves

“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” Those words were uttered by Captain Jean-Luc Picard almost every episode in Star Trek: The Next Generation. I didn’t drink tea too often before I got hooked on ST:TNG when I was a teenager. Isn’t it funny how a character I admired pushed me into a tea habit?

I'm sitting sipping my tea with the Captain. We're singing Gilbert and Sullivan, cheers, passing time between the cold of space and the decisions of running a star ship.

But, I sit here, tea as my comfort, the frost glazing over the window panes, the past year of my life riding by in my brain. The tea warming my senses, reliving all the pain and all the good. Even in the worst year of my life yet, there was good, love that thrived. Sights, lights, and heights, even amongst the grim lows.

The brewing of my favorite blend is a process of maturation, starts off raw and aromatic, but unconsumable. Then the water takes time to boil--kettle poised to call out its readiness. Then it's steeped and finally drunk. And when mulling over all that I've been through and the simple joy of drinking something as tasty and layered as tea... I'm thankful for it. Truly. A good tea hits you in the jaw and when you come back for another punch, it's the other fist, the one you didn't expect. Tea is an old friend, ageless and taken however one's personality dictates; for me, strong and without anything added. You can share a pot with a friend and each have it your way. Together as individuals, yet sharing something that's been shared by discerning connoisseurs and casual sippers alike for generations.

Or maybe it's not that grand at all. Maybe it's simple. Maybe it's something to drink after dinner for digestion. But some happy metaphors do exist in my caffeine-addled mind. The fact that cup after cup, I keep coming back for more, that means something.

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