I love teacups. I collect teacups. I have matching teacups with friends who live far away. I admire the virtues a teacup represents.
I have teacups from all over the world, given to me by friends and family who have traveled abroad – China, Africa, Ireland, Austria, Italy… and each is unique in design and character.
When I was visiting my friend in Ireland, we had tea often. With milk and sugar. And we sipped our tea with no regard for time, only the enjoyment of the company we were keeping. In Japan, my folks attended a Tea Ceremony that lasted for 2 hours and each aspect was meticulous, symbolic, and unhurried. While we lived in California, a friend took me and my girls to a Tea House for lunch. The meal was relaxing, enjoyable, and time stood still while we sipped our different kinds of tea. I bought this tea cup as a reminder – slow down, take time for pretty things and enjoy it all with my children.
When my children were younger, we used to have tea parties and invite friends. Sometimes, we would invite older ladies from our church – they were always so delighted with the whole idea.
Memorization was part of my kids’ curriculum for school. They would memorize poetry, or passages of scripture and I would use our tea parties as a means for them to recite what they had memorized. They were the entertainment!
I would make a big deal out of these occasions. We would make “special” sandwiches and little desserts. The children would all help in the preparation. We would send out hand written invitations and we would request special attire – perhaps a hat and gloves or a fancy dress. My kids would rummage through our dress-up box and come up with their own unique fashions. This was also the time we used the tea cups – sometimes the special tea cups! We “dressed” the table and discussed proper manners before our guests arrived.
There is a power in tea and in sipping tea that makes you slow down. There is an air of being genteel, a sophistication, when you have tea. The frailty and purposefulness of a tea cup…
My tea cups are subtle reminders for me to slow down, enjoy the moment and more importantly, to be focused on the one with whom I am sharing a cup of tea. This cup of tea will not last forever but the memory of conversation and time will…