I learned I loved serving tea.
The owners were wonderful about allowing me to borrow from their library, and soon I had an accordion file of notes about serving teas--notes filled with recipes, theme ideas, etc. I began to envision myself incorporating tea service into some ministry initiatives that were already taking shape in my life.
For one thing, I started attending school to become a spiritual director. And, I began running my appointments with directees in a little bistro corner of the library/music room in my house, a corner that was easy to transform into a mini-tea parlor. We would start sessions with the ritual of choosing and brewing a pot of tea. I also began serving tea during knitting lessons and pretty much any time someone came over for a chat.
Meanwhile, I continued learning to serve scrumptious tea meals; right up until the owners of the tea parlor decided it was time to retire, and the tea parlor closed up shop.
|Mother's Day, 2013|
By that time, friends had learned of my "tea ministry" plans and were feeling prompted to send support my way. Beautiful offerings came in the form of gifted tea pots, recipes, a listening ear during my brainstorming sessions and specialty pieces--like this Christmas tea set given to me by a dear friend.
I've been making good use of those gifts, too! Today I had the opportunity to serve my third Christmas tea of the season. One tea was a larger party for a group of five, but the other teas were quaint two-person affairs. Whether large or small, each time I set to work preparing for a tea, I get nostalgic for the days at the tea parlor. The bright sunny kitchen, the dark lustrous serving rooms--it was altogether a delightful place to work. A delightful place with delightful people, and I miss them all dearly. Part of me sees every humble little tea I serve as a tribute to that lovely time and place.
Coming up, I'm going to run a blog post or two with a few "staple" recipes and menu plans for a basic tea. But first, I felt that this introduction was appropriate.
Happy tea party!