It's hard for me to sit down and have a cup of tea without thinking about the things in my day needing to be done running through my mind like a stream of consciousness to-do list on steroids--the reports to write, the messes to tidy up, the meals to cook. Often I will drink my tea standing up, or take it from the garden (where I would prefer to sit all afternoon daydreaming) to my office to check my email as I take the last few sips. Sometimes, when I get carried away with replying to the last urgent missive or three, I realise that half an hour has passed, and that the tea has gone cold. I constantly have to pull myself up about slowing down, about sitting with the moment, about trusting that what really needs to be done will get done.
I sat down to a cup of tea earlier this week, a little exhausted by the demands of kids on school holidays (can it be day 2 only?) and a tad resentful that I have to squeeze my paid work commitments into the gaps. So I take myself off to get a grip. The sensible, intuitive part of me says that if I get away from it all for a few minutes, it won't seem so bad afterwards. The lounge room is dark and I sneak the papers in, hoping that my kids won't see me.
There's not a great deal that excites me in the paper these days but I chanced on an article by Annie Smithers, owner of Annie Smither's Bistrot in Kyneton. It's about tea, and dreams, and loss, and expectation. It transported me to her world just for a few moments, away from my own four walls. When I walked outside again, I noticed that the pomegranate tree was flowering. That the beetroots were lush in their beds. That the kids had settled. The big revelation was that everything didn't need to happen right now. I felt as if I'd woken from a long sleep and smelt the tea leaves finally.
So, if you too need a bit of mindfulness therapy, get yourself a cuppa, sit down, and clear your mind with Tea and Sympathy by Annie Smithers.
Picture: Jennifer Soo