“Do you takeÂ coffee or tea?” Â Some people are firmly in one camp or the other, but I believe in the power of both.Â Â If I want to get out the door in the morning, I rely on a commuter mug of joe,Â Â but if I want to take a quiet reflective pause in the evening,Â I put on the teakettle.
I guess it’s fair to say that coffee fuels my body, butÂ tea fuels my soul.
Tea and prayer really are a perfect pairing. Â Â Something about this drinkÂ seems to invite and create a powerful, contemplative frame of mind. Â I think there are a few reasons for this.
1) Brewing tea is a ritual, and I’m big on those when it comes to prayer. Â Filling the kettle, plunking it on the burner, hearing the catch of the gas as it lights, picking a teabag from my extensive collection (my husband wonders how I can possibly have a whole shelf devoted to tea), waiting for the whistle, pouring the hot water and watching the water turn to amber … it’s something I know by heart. Â In all the things life throws at me (Sick kid! Big change at work! Â Car trouble!), it is lovely to have a constant.
It’s one of the reasons I love the Mass, in fact. Â We need some things to be as familiar as breathing.
2) Tea makes you slow down. Â You can’t gulp it; it’s not Gatorade or beer. Â You have to sip it at a leisurely pace, especially if you take it black as I do, without the cooling properties of milk. Â You can’t rush a cup of tea, and since life makes me rush almost everything else, I love this forced pause.
3) Tea involvesÂ the meeting of multiple senses. Â There’s the sound of the boiling teakettle. Â There’s the heat of the cup in my hands. Â There is the fragrance curling up to my nose. Â There is the taste of the tea on my tongue. Â There’s the gradual darkening of the tea as I steep it. Â Sometimes there is even the visual feast of a floralÂ teacup or a particularly pretty kind of tea packaging. Â And savoringÂ Â theseÂ senses is a potentÂ prayer to the One whoÂ gaveÂ them to usÂ in the first place.
But enough writing;Â Â I’m goingÂ to put the kettle on. Â Care to join me?
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