Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Warm Cup of Tea

Is there anything better than a warm cup of tea to heat you up and soothe your spirits?  OK, yes, there might be.  I have a card here on my desk from a friend that says, "The best times are often made of nothing more than good friends and hot coffee."  She's the coffee drinker and I have been known to drink a cup or two myself, as long as it's flavored with a little something stronger.  I've just never acquired the taste for plain coffee.  To me it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and, while I used to love the smell of it in the mornings, I can't even say that I like that anymore.  I remember trying to drink a cup of coffee at Grandma's house one time.  She gave me a little cup and I filled it full of sugar and cream.  Even then I couldn't understand why anyone would drink it. My grandpa always drank hot water...plain, hot water.  Of course the water had to be from the well, not the kitchen faucet where the city water was.  I never quite developed a taste for plain, hot water either.  Then there's the orange juice commercial where they're sitting around the table and the man/woman is being told about the day's events (bad, of course) while he/she drinks a glass of juice.  I like a glass of juice once in a while, but it doesn't replace my cup of tea.

Some people would say that tea, hot or otherwise, isn't anything more than colored water and, depending on your choice of tea and how you brew it, they might be right.  When I first started drinking tea, the bag only sat in the hot water a minute-just long enough to color the water, before it was strong enough for me.  Now, I just leave the bag in it until the drink is all gone.  I want every drop of tea from that bag.  Every morning I have a cup of green tea followed by a cup of regular, decaffeinated tea.  After that, I might have anything to drink, but the day always begins in the same way.

Aren't we funny little creatures of habit?  If I don't have my morning tea, the day is just 'off' a little bit.  My friend has to have her morning cup(s) of coffee.  Others I know have to have that morning soft drink.  Still others start their day with juice.   Maybe it's the caffeine they're reaching for, or maybe it's just the routine, the habit.  

Habits are good and bad.  I don't see that what you drink in the morning is either good or bad, unless it becomes excessive.  Like anything, when we must have it to complete our day, then it becomes a bad thing.  Do I really need that cup of tea?  No, I certainly could get through the day without it and I have.  I think it's more about what I do while I'm drinking that first cup of tea.  It's the time I take every morning to get settled for the day.  That's the prayer time and the planning time.  It's the quiet time I allow myself before the world starts knocking at the door and all of life's 'special' moments become a part of my day.  It's the time that I hear the birds singing outside and watch the sun rise with all its glorious colors.  

It's a new day.  It's a good cup of tea.  All is right with the world...at least for a little while. 

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