Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Tea and Redemption

The world outside is still dark, and the village is a collection of indistinct shapes and muffled sounds. The morning is cold and damp, the kitchen a place of shadows in the early light. My elderly bones, sinews, ligaments and joints protest the return of winter creakily, and summer seems like a lovely dream from long ago and far away.

How does one banish winter for a few minutes? Looking for a fine hot potion to start the day and drown my doldrums, I rattle around in the pantry,  opening canisters and sniffing them appreciatively. Earl Grey? Darjeeling? Irish Breakfast? Lapsang Souchong? Yorkshire Gold? Constant Comment? Chai Latte? Northern Delights Cloudberry (Arpiqutik) or Crowberry (Paurngaqutik)? Rooibos? Ginseng? Japanese popcorn tea? Perhaps a simple Orange Pekoe would be the ticket?

A few lines from Leonard Cohen's song "Suzanne" come to mind, and I hum the words as I am poking about in the kitchen. His exquisite creation started out as a poem, and the first verse describes him drinking tea (Bigelow's Constant Comment) with his friend Suzanne Verdal in her flat near the Montreal harbor. "And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China..."

The last container discovered is way in the back of the cupboard, and the cannister holds tiny dried chrysanthemum buds, rustling gently and murmuring softly to each other. When I open it, the dry golden fragrance of last summer wafts out, and for a moment, I hear tinkling bells and exotic music, feel the warm August sun on my face. Oh yes, this is the ambrosial stuff we will quaff this morning.

Waiting for the kettle to whistle, I do a little whistling of my own, and I glance at the shadows falling across my mug and the little Chinese bowl of flower buds resting on the counter. The shadows contrast wonderfully with the fragile porcelain vessels and their aromatic contents, and the pale light slanting through the kitchen window paints their verges pale gold. Forget the the cold weather and short days, this morning scene is perfect just as it is. Tea anyone? 


Kameshwari said...

Yes, I will have a cuppa tea. Later today, I will open the package of tea that I bought from an herbalist while I was visitng Jasper. Looking forward to sipping and tasting the sun and moon that kissed the mountain blooms and leaves. Thanks for suggesting a cuppa tea.

Jim Cummings said...

What a lovely morning picture….gratitude shines through it all!