So today's tea was chosen from a Whittard's sampler that was given to me for my birthday. It came with a huge, and I mean massive, teacup and saucer...I love them, but it's actually hard to drink a cup of tea in it, because by the time I take a few sips the hugeness of the cup has cooled down my tea. (So I went for the RP Theological Seminary mug, which has faded significantly since I got it free at a conference.)
Rosehip and hibiscus. I thought it was a good choice for a summer's day. It's a surprisingly strong tea, brewing a dark red when you would expect perhaps a light pink colour. It needs to steep for quite a while - even after five minutes the full flavours haven't been completely released. I could see taking this tea and making it iced, with sugar, for a summer's day....but that will need to wait for America! I'm looking forward to some incredible iced teas when I'm in the States next month.
Hibiscus is a flower with some good connotations for me. My mum used to grow these at our house in Arizona, where we moved when I was seven. Our house in California, where I lived before that, had an abundance of good memories - the huge garden, the fruit trees, the flowers, the strawberries...and when we moved to our house in Phoenix I missed all of those things. But our new house had an orchard of grapefruit trees, and it also had a massive hibiscus plant. I remember those hibiscus flowers, bright red, sweet - and lasting for only one day. No matter what you did - leave it on a counter, put it in a vase, change fresh water, put it with other flowers, leave it on the bush - those flowers only ever lasted one day. I used to think it was sad, but after a while I came to enjoy that.
Because no matter how hard you try, you can't make that flower live longer, but you can't cause it to die early, either. You can enjoy it for what it is and for the beauty it brings and the summer you see in a flower, and then it is gone. "For what is your life?" says the Apostle James. "The glory of man is like the glory of the grass. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of God lives forever", says the Apostle Peter. This life is very fleeting. This summer's day, which felt like we got it on loan, has fleeted away. (I don't think that's a word, but like Humpty Dumpty, "a word means what I say it means".) And my cup of tea is fleeting, too. But I have enjoyed it. I enjoyed the warmth of the sun as I walked, talking with friends about their upcoming wedding, the food from a barbeque, a conversation with a friend on prayer. My hibiscus flower was beautiful today. It is dying now - the day is dying, and my tea is cooling, and I'm tired. But God's gifts go long beyond today, and I look forward to a day of rest and worshiping Him tomorrow.
And now I'll settle in with my rosehip tea and enjoy the last remnants of a Saturday before the Lord's Day tomorrow.
Enjoy your tea.
Walk length: 40 minutes