Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

June 21, 2016

An Ode to Tea

Grace Notes | An Ode to Tea

Words: Ella Wilson
Photo credit: Ella Wilson

 

Tea, you and I go way back.

 

I first heard about you when I was about three or four years old. I was outside under a lacy green maple tree sipping pink lemonade out of pastel rose tea cups enjoying tiny sandwiches, cucumbers and strawberries. Mom had suggested we have a picnic tea party for lunch. I invited my dolls, stuffed teddy bears and my beagle, Roxie joined us.

 

At ten years old, tea became a weekly reward after I did chores at my grandparents’ home. My grandmother would decorate the table with fine linens, a bowl of sugar cubes, a pitcher of cream, and a hodgepodge of floral tea cups and plates colored the table resembling an indoor garden. I learned proper manners and enjoyed your company from a bone china cup.

 

As a teen, you provided comfort to me when I had migraines. Your warmth lifted my spirits and allowed gray mattered memories to arrive. I became smitten with your floral perfume and how you ceremonially greeted me. You always found a way to cheer me up. You were always kindhearted and made me take time out to reflect on what was good in my life.

 

You came along with me when I went to college. My grandmother gave me a white tea pot, a tea ball, and a few tins of loose leaf tea. You helped me stay awake to study and do well on exams — thank you.

 

Tea, today you help me travel through my mind’s map of memories. I remember when I went to England and after having high tea, you became a daily ritual. Taking time out with you reminded me to live in the now.

 

When I had children, you became a sanctuary in my day. Sometimes I had to rush our visits together, as I pushed my children on the swing or tended to their needs, but we still had our special moments. You and I would hang out on a corner bench by the playground or curl up on the couch and find joy reading children’s books to my kids.

 

Tea, you have helped me remember my past, live in the now, and build a bridge to my future. We have watched the sun rise together, observed soap box rants of birds tweeting and hopping about on my deck, observing the first star, as we watched the moon swim to her lifeguard post.

 

You have supported my dreams, taken part in shared celebrations with me and honored the ordinary moments in my life. Tea, you have saved me many times. I could always count on you to calm me with your Earl Grey mood or kiss anxiety away with an elixir of vanilla beans. Somehow, you always helped me cope no matter what was going on in my life.

 

I love how when I am with you. I can be in Ireland for breakfast, India at noon, and in the evening visiting Japan or China.  I can travel with you throughout my life as we share the bitter and the sweet.

 

You brighten my world with lemon wedges, sugar cubes, and pretty floral bone china. There are not enough words to describe all the gifts and sentiment you have given me. The best gift of all is the one filled with hope and the chance to still dream, as you daily wake my creativitea.

 

Ella Wilson is a mixed-media artist who tries to find calmness and beauty in various facets of her day.  Visit her blog at ellasedge.blogspot.com, find her on Twitter and Instagram @ellasedge, and visit her Etsy shop at Ellasedge.etsy.com.

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Comments ( 16 )

  1. Renee Zarate

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    What a BEAUTIFUL ode to tea! You have such a way with words I feel as if I lived every one of those moments with you.

  2. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Renee,
    Thank you~ I am so happy you stopped by! I still think we Carolina gals need to meet and of course have tea~ You are so, sweet~ I would love to come to one of your classes 😀
    @>———-xo

  3. Marilyn

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    What a beautiful description of tea.

  4. Marcoantonio Arellano

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    nice write on your life’s tea sojourn.

  5. Andrea

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Yay I love when Ella is featured on your blog! She has such a way of describing things. Her words are full of magical memories! 🙂 can’t wait to see more in the future

  6. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Marilyn, Thank you, so much! I think most of us have wonderful memories associated with childhood tea parties and taking time out for sentiment~ @>———–xo

  7. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hello Marcoantonio,
    Thank you! I will stop by and visit you~ Your poetry is as refreshing as a cup of tea. You are very kind! @>————-

  8. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Andrea,
    You make me smile! Thank you, so much~
    I hope you take time out for magic in your day, whether it is in a portal of tea, journaling or doing something you love~
    @>———–xo

  9. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Ella, this is so clever and
    so very true. I have a similar
    relationship with tea, and
    enjoyed introducing both
    my kids to its pleasures as
    children, and most recently
    to my husband, who likes to
    share a cuppa with me at the
    end of the day : )

    xo Suzanne

  10. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    I love thinking of creating memories with loved ones with tea. It is so, wonderful that you have your whole family enjoying tea. Tea does create memories and reminds us to embrace these moments with cheer. Thank you, so much! @>———–xo

  11. Judy H.

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Your post or rather lovely prose on the beauty and magic of tea touched my heart. When I was in college, I met a local young school teacher named Holly. She was about 5 years older than I was, but faster friends were never made. At her suggestion, we began meeting for tea on Friday afternoons. I was not much of a tea drinker, she loved all teas but her favorite was a cup of Earl Grey sipped from one of the many delicate antique tea cups the shop served I was determined to develop a taste for her favorite tea and over the course of the next year, I loved Earl Grey tea more than any other. After I graduated from college, I stayed on in the tiny town and became a resident. Our tea and friendship blossomed. I loved everything about Holly, including her name, she was born on Christmas Day. Last year, in her forties, Holly developed a very aggressive form of cancer and within six months, the angels swept her away with them. I thought I would be numb forever.
    I thought tea would comfort me, but I couldn’t bring myself to even brew one cup. A couple of months ago, I was visiting my parents when my Mother asked me to drink a cup of tea with her one afternoon. I agreed. She made a lovely pot of Ceylon tea and we enjoyed conversation, tea and a lemon wafer or two. What a happy time we shared! As we were clearing away our teacups, Holly popped into my mind and I saw her smile. I knew she was glad I had finally decided to honor her memory with a cup of tea!

  12. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Judy,
    This touches my heart~ Thank you, for sharing you special friendship with Holly~
    Yes, I do believe she was happy you were partaking tea again-a special ritual of honoring yourself and your memories~ Cherish, your special bond and beautiful friendship~ I am so, sorry you lost her~ Holly is with you-in your heart’s memory!

  13. Veronica

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    So wonderful to read. Tea reminds me of my grandma, who loved it and drank it everyday at “tea time”. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  14. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Veronica,
    Both my grandmothers made time for tea. I think we all deserve a moment of serenity in our day-with or without tea. Taking time out gives us a chance to find ourselves.
    Thank you, for sharing!

  15. Veronica

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I’m not really a tea drinker, however; I do have a love of the smell. I also have two special tea pots. The first is from my Grandmother, whom was a big tea drinker and the person I loved more than life itself. I recently received one as a gift from a dear friend and so love it. This article is beautiful and touched my heart.

  16. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you, so much~ I think it would be fine to put Hot Chocolate in your tea pot or whatever you like. It is about taking time for yourself and those wonderful steeped memories. Honor those women and create your own ritual. My daughter and I have made Hot Lemonade-it is wonderful-heat the water, then stir in the juice of a lemon and the pulp, now add your favorite sweetener, next cut the lemon in sections to enhance the flavor. Thank you for making my heart smile~

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