Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Day 29: Heather Tea

My friend Heather is probably the best hostess I know in the world.  She asked before I came if there was any kind of tea that she should put in stock for my coming, and I said that I have gotten into a routine of having a cup of green tea every morning before I get started on the day. And bless her heart if she didn't go and not just put in a stock of an entire variety of green teas (green tea with mixed berry, with honey, with orange passionfruit and jasmine, with mint, with lemon ginseng), but also a kettle, two mugs, and water so that I could make my cup of tea anytime without even stepping out my bedroom door.  Legendary woman.

So this morning I started with my usual pattern, having a cup of full strength green tea while I'm writing my morning pages. It's my favourite way to begin - lifts the heart by drinking tea with antioxidants, and lifts the mind by releasing everything I'm thinking onto the pages.  I always used to try waking up and having my prayer time or Bible reading time as soon as I woke up, and it's always been an unmitigated disaster.  Spending time with the Lord takes at least some attention and focus, and for the first half hour or so I have absolutely none.  I've tried going for a walk or a run first thing too, and my body just won't cooperate.  I'm learning that it needs to rest before it even begins the day.  Nothing wrong with that - it's just taken me my whole life to figure it out! 

This morning, though, my entire body felt like lead. Traveling is not for the faint of heart, and I had put in some good hours yesterday.  I forced myself to get up at 6 and sit back with my usual cup of green tea, but I couldn't even pick up a pen to start writing.  Most mornings I can begin writing immediately, even if my eyes aren't fully open, and come round to it slowly.  But I just sat there, drinking my tea, pen and paper sitting before me, and an entire half hour went by.  It was actually (other than the fact that it was because I was so tired) really nice.  I loved the silence, the peace, the reflection.  I even loved that I wasn't able to do anything else but drink my tea, because it emptied my mind in a way.  I was so tired I thought I'd go back to sleep, but by then the green tea's persuasive powers had begun, so I suited up to go for my morning walk.

There's a trail just round the corner from Heather's house.  It's perfect - winds around through forest and trees and flowers and a duck pond, and is just long enough for my morning walk.  I've gotten used to 30-40 minutes.  Interestingly enough, because this was the first time I'd taken this walk, I didn't exactly follow the path entirely, and ended up dandering through several different streets before I made it back to the path.  My legs, still feeling a bit leaden, assured me that I had been walking for at least an hour and possibly longer.  My mind, which is slowly learning my body's tricks, realised that it was probably much shorter.  (I boldly did not take my iphone with me on this new walk!)  I was very surprised to come in and discover that I had been out just over 30 minutes. I'll see how it goes tomorrow, but it was an excellent walk and I felt quite revived later.

When I came back, Heather and I decided to try the new tea I had brought for her - it's called Heather Tea, and it's a mix of African and Assam teas, with actual heather blossoms in it.  (We broke open a tea bag to determine if this was indeed the case.)  Heather has a heather plant outside, so we traipsed out there for a mini photo shoot of the heather tea in its natural habitat, even though the blossoms were a bit thin on the ground.  Well, it's May...not September!  Then we came in and had proper cups of tea (Heather has the most amazing collection of teacups I've ever seen, so we were able to choose cups which also had heather blossoms on them), complete with teapot, and drank our tea.  I really like the flavour.  It's a very light tea - Heather says it's the African/Assam blend that keeps it from being bitter - and we both tried very hard to taste the heather blossom flavour, and I don't know if I actually did or just thought I did because I've been staring at the box for so long.  We had it with milk, and then I tried it without - I think I like it best with milk.  I usually want to taste the full flavour of the tea with nothing in it, and I'm not a fan of adding sugar, so this was the way to do it.

We enjoyed our mini tea party, and then we went on with our days.  There are so many teas we don't even know where to begin, but tomorrow we'll be going to a tea shop so I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Walk length:  30 minutes

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