C.S. Lewis once wrote, ‘ You can never find a cup of tea big enough, or a book long enough to suit me.’ At this late hour, with my cup of tea by my side, surrounded by my precious books, I feel a kinship with the great man. It’s late, very late, and I am tucked up in the quietness of our home office, my special place, the place that is fast becoming my thinking spot.
It is good to reflect in these quiet night hours. It is good to reflect on all things good and beautiful, on the blessings of the week. Tonight as I put the water on to heat and prepared the teapot, I thought of the many times through the years when tea was prepared in our home, taken to a birthday child, brought to a sick parent, lovingly embellished for an evening of Masterpiece viewing. Tea has played a large role in the lives of this family. It has given us comfort and enjoyment, encouraged a sense of oneness and given each of us a better understanding of beauty and goodness.
Tea is our shared experience. It is more than a beautiful cup, although that is important. It is more than a fine leaf, although that is also important. In our home, it is our remembered ritual. The making of the tea, the choice of blend, the careful picking of a special cup, the perfect teapot, the arranging of the tray just so, sugar cubes, cream….In the hustle and bustle of life, there will always be a hearkening back to those times, those precious tea times we cherish. It is a gift that each child has taken with them as they ventured out into the wide world. Nothing can take it away and, as each one has made sure, there will always be a teapot and lovely cup to transport the soul to a quiet place.
This week as I sat working quietly at my desk, the door quietly opened and there was our son, now an adult, and, thankfully, still a lover of beauty,
“Would you like some tea, Mom?”
Lovingly, he carried a tray with hot tea, cream, and sugar and placed it on my desk. I gulped.
“Oh God, thank you for this kindness. This good thing.” I whispered in my heart. How quickly the hours flew, as I sipped my tea and continued my writing.
The next morning, busily at work again, our sweet daughter, again ever so quietly opened the door,
” Mom, would you like some tea?”
Oh dear Lord, thank you for this goodness. “Yes, that would be great.”
And again,another tray. A different teapot, a different cup, and crisp toast. God is good to show His goodness in the loving touches of our children. And so it continued. These lovely souls, children by birth, servants by choice, lovingly ministering to another. These are grateful moments, never to be taken for granted.
The ritual of tea continues to unite us. In this fast paced, often coarse and jarring world, it is a comfort to know that the hours spent creating beauty and believing in goodness are not wasted. There are still children and adults who notice. Though the world may scoff at niceties, I make no apologies, for there is still a difference to be made. There is a loveliness to our ritual that is not necessarily the teapot or the cup. It is the caring and the giving, the kindness of time taken. It is true and it is good and it is very beautiful.
Whatsoever things are lovely…think on these things. Phil. 4:8