A few months ago I had it in my mind to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. They lived across town, and the drive was just long enough to regret not keeping in better touch. As I arrived I could see them through the storm door, waving me inside. But as I entered it was not a jovial greeting and handshake that stirred my sentiment, it was the beautiful smell of steeping tea.
As he proceeded to pour me a cup and place it in my hands I knew, without any exchange of words, that no matter how long it had been, or would be, we will always be close. We sat on the back porch, sipping loose leaf, catching each other up on our lives apart. It was on that porch, with a mug in my hand, that I realized we were not just sharing experiences, or tea. We were sharing a slice of time. The ritual of tea had brought us together into a moment that we both could share. The taste, the smell, the feeling and tradition of a cup of tea had bound us together in that moment far beyond what simple conversation could ever have achieved. It was not lost on me that this same feeling had been felt before, not once, but thousands upon thousands of times.
Through the millennia that humans have walked, burned, and replanted the earth, tea has become a universal vessel for greeting, chatting, and making peace. Around the world in every far-reaching corner of the globe you can find two souls, pouring a cup of their native brew, sharing in a moment. It is unquestionable that disputes have been settled over tea, friendships made, and love rekindled. It would not be a stretch to wonder if, over a cup of tea, generals have fostered peace between warring nations. The sensual experience and shared tradition of a hot drink helping them to rejoice in their similarities, instead of fighting over their differences.
When we sip on a cup of tea, let’s let it take us into a shared state of hot beverage bliss. When we sit with our friends, family, or even strangers and have a cup of tea, let’s share in that experience together, bringing us to the same table. Maybe, if we try hard enough, we can bring everyone in the world to the same table, sharing an experience, feeling the tradition, feeling the warmth. Maybe we can connect the world, though peace and kinship, in a cup of tea.
Peace, Love, and Happy Sipping