It’s a grey, dreary morning in Boone–the sort of day you can think of nothing better to do
than settle into an over-sized armchair with a thick book of literature, a ginormous quilt, and a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. Now that sounds cosy, doesn’t it? Especially the tea part. You’ve never known true comfort if you’ve never drunk a cup with the proper accoutrements–namely honey and milk.
Tea is my constant friend. Bad days, sad days, dreary days, teary days, days of triumph, days of heartache or homesickness. The thought of coming home to Apartment Four to a cup of tea always fills me with contented peace, because I know things are never so bleak that tea cannot help change my perspective and remind me there is always great reason to hope. It is a silly, small reminder of the Lord’s grace to me. Tea is my “calm after the storm” drink of choice, as any of my roommates will attest to. They also know to suggest I brew a pot after a particularly trying day. Am I really such a predictable creature of habit?
Tea drinking is a time-honored Walton family tradition. My father recalls watching his English aunt preparing afternoon tea religiously while he grew up in Florida. He thought her a strange woman, until he visited England himself in his post-college days and adopted the tradition as his own. I am not certain of the origin of my mother’s tea drinking history, but I am certain that my father reinforced or added to whatever previous habits she owned. While I lived at home, madre or daddy always prepared a pot of tea in the early morning to drink with their devotions, and a evening pot constantly appeared after dinner. It was not (and still is not) uncommon for either parent to express affection for one another by asking if he or she would care for a cup of tea. You may say my family history is steeped in tea tradition. Pun very much intended.
As you have gathered, I adopted the family tradition. I mostly drink tea from a large, clunky mug, but when I have the time, my preference is to make a pot and sip tea from a delicate teacup and pretend I live in the world of Downton Abbey, or some other such BBC drama. Tea for two is always better than tea for one, but tea for one sparks creative genius. Tea always makes me want to write (guess what I am drinking at the moment) and paint and explore and dream. Tea enables me to visit the flavors of the world from the comfort of my living room.
And so I love tea, if that much wasn’t clear. It is poetic and full of fine sentiment, to quote Mr. Emerson. Coffee has its place, of course–and I do love it!–but nothing can trump my unbridled affection for tea and all its elegant qualities.