There’s something about a cup of tea that brings a small joy to my day and soothes my heart that little bit. The simple ritual of hot water and tea leaves brings a stillness of a moment just for me – which, in a world of perpetual busyness can be enough to remind me to be mindful and check in with how I am doing that day.
I associate tea with many things; my Nannie, my Dad, my Aunties, cold Melbourne winters with Belinda and Anthony, burying myself deep in my “study hole” writing countless assignments, crisp early mornings waking up with the sun, hugs from loved ones, chats and giggles with friends, a new issue of Frankie, and a pillar of strength through my deepest times of depression and anxiety.
My personal tea of choice is Earl Grey. Every time I make it I get to remember my Aunty Mae-Mae – her strength, her warmth and her love. I think of my sister and send her a long-distance air-hug. I remember the hard times and am grateful of where I am today.
For me, tea isn’t a habit or an addiction, like coffee is for some people. It’s a choice that I make to comfort myself and give myself time and mindfulness. By this I mean that I always make an active choice to drink tea; I don’t ‘need’ it to wake up, or to get through my day. I simply enjoy the ritual, the stillness, the warmth and the comfort of it when I choose to do so.
In it’s own way, this ritual is almost a meditation for me, and while I don’t practice every day, when I do I am reminded of the enjoyment of the little things, whether that be an old favourite, a new blend, or the feeling of joy in using a special tea cup instead of my favourite mug.
In all honesty, drinking tea is probably the only ritual that has stuck around for me throughout the years, which is probably why I embrace it the way that I do. Even the way I drink my tea is simple: hot water + tea + a little cold water to finish. No muss, no fuss. And in a strange way I feel like this ritual connects me to my roots; my Irish and British family who always drink tea. In their houses the kettle is always warm and in them I see a part of who I am and where I’ve come from.
Maybe it’s weird to see so much into some leaves and a bit of hot water, but tea is grounding for me and I can’t help but appreciate all that it gives me and everything I feel with every cup I brew:
Tradition. Grounding. Simplicity. Mindfulness. Family.
I really wouldn’t have it any other way.