Friday, April 17, 2009

The Art of Tea

It is no secret that my job is a source of aggravation, as well as income. Given this, anything that can bring a moment of harmony to the futility of my day is a welcome measure. After lunch, this respite is tea.

Deep within the desk drawer, behind the dried fruit, can opener, soup, nuts and cereal, hides my secret stash of tea. Even the simple act of opening the container provides a fleeting glimmer of calm. I sift through the bags. Is it a jasmine day? Or perhaps Earl Grey? Plum and mint, chamomile and Constant Comment, black, oolong, and green, even spiced chai; choices abound. Hot water from the coffee bar releases the familiar aromas. I cradle the mug, drawing small comfort, and pray that the phone doesn’t ring. As I inhale and sip, there is brief transportation to the first “good” Chinese restaurant in town, a picnic table in Arkansas at dawn, a best friend’s bedroom floor, my Mom’s kitchen table… anywhere but here. Slowly, my identity returns.

Amazing how something so simple can be such a lifeline.

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