Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Day 16: White Cherry Blossom Tea

One of the things I love about walking every day is the fact that I get to enjoy the seasons slowly, with attention and time. Normally I'm inside a lot, or not paying specific attention to the seasons changing, and they surprise me. One day I'm looking out at snow covered streets and the next morning (it feels like) the blossoms are full on the trees and I'm wondering where winter went.

If you feel like that, the best way to enjoy fully the changing of the trees and the weather and the feel of the sky is to actually pay attention on a daily walk. This morning I had a lot of fellow walkers along my (now well-worn) path. A man with some kind of paper in his hand, walking so slowly (and sometimes stopping altogether) so that his little black dog was running circles around him, yapping its head off, and then stopping with its head cocked as if to say, 'Aren't we going to walk today?' Another man, paused at a gate-post, talking on his mobile phone. Two people walking their dogs together. Most of those I passed today didn't seem to be really taking in their surroundings too much. And because this blog is focused on the different teas each day (rather than photos of my world), I've been going out each morning without my mobile phone, or anything to distract. It's just me, my trainers, and my water bottle. And so I find that I'm noticing and enjoying the little changes that I see even more than usual. (It also helps that I'm walking the same path every day, so something that was brown yesterday and green today is also more noticed.)

Today I was noticing the blossoms and leaves on the trees. A few weeks ago, I was seeing that the brown and stark trees were starting to gain softness. Little green buds (and some pink ones) appearing. Small extensions on a branch. Last week it was the blossoms - the trees had white or pink blossoms that were unfolding in beauty. And today I suddenly noticed that alongside the blossoms were the leaves. One of the trees I particularly admire had yesterday a host of white blossoms (hence my tea choice today), and now I suddenly noticed that there are more green leaves on it than ever before. It reminded me of the story of Aaron's rod that budded, in the Bible - if you're not familiar with it, it tells of a man that the whole church was angry at and not sure they wanted leading them, and how God told all those men to lay down their staffs (the shepherd staffs that they carried each day) and see which one was 'chosen'. The next morning when they went in to look, "Behold, the staff of Aaron had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. Then Moses [Aaron's brother] brought out all the staffs from before the LORD to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff." (Numbers 17.8-9) I love that story because, especially now with my walking, I can see that God can speed up or slow down or otherwise deal with the weather, the seasons, the blossoming, the bearing of fruit, in whatever way He chooses. The creation is His, the timing is His...and I simply get to walk along in wonder.

Today's tea is white cherry blossom. How incredibly apt! I am using my loose-leaf-tea-spoon which sits in the cup and lets the flavour out slowly. It's slightly bitter at the start, so I am still letting it steep. There's definitely a sweet, fruity taste after and in combination with the bitterness, and a clarity to this tea that most loose-leaf teas are better at than teabags. It's simple, light, and beautiful: like the blossoms it comes from.

Walk length: 45 minutes


  1. I love cherry blossoms! Had no idea there was such a thing as cherry blossom tea though haha.

    The arrival of Spring is a funny thing. Whenever I left Beaver Falls to go to Philly a couple weeks ago, it was still looking kind of blah, dull, and dead around here. Then when I got to Philly, you could just tell it was Spring! The difference between Philly and BF was surprising. Blossoms were out, the grass was more green, and the trees were starting to bud. And now that I'm back in BF it's starting to look a little more like Spring here too. :)

  2. love the tea photos today!

  3. Aw thanks Carla! I'm using a cool little app on my iphone that gives these nifty effects!