I love a good cup of coffee. I also enjoy a nice cup of tea. I drink coffee on the go. I drink tea on the slow. The best tea is made slowly. To be its best tea requires waiting for the pot of water to come to a boil then cool for a minute before pouring it over the tea ball of loose tea. it does not come from a microwave and a paper tea bag. This is solely my observation. I do not know if there is any actual evidence to back up my observation about the process that produces the best cup of tea for me. You see, it is about the process: the few minutes spent waiting for the water to heat, the gathering of the loose tea into the tea ball, the fragrance that is released as the tea and hot water meld, the colors and textures of the used tea leaves, and, finally, the shining swirl as a honey dipper releases its spun gold into the tea. Yes, it is the process and it makes me slow down. My life is usuallly lived at a fast pace and I need to build elements into it that force me to slow down. The slowing down gives me time to see the beauty of the snow balancing on the clothes line, to deeply listen to a favorite song, to remember Aunt Clare and how she used to bring her own tea bag when she walked acorss the yard for a visit because we only drank coffee in my childhood home. I value these few minutes to slow down each afternoon. I seek them out and feel out of sorts if I get too busy for them.
I have friends who I live life at full speed with. I cherish them. But I have one friend who makes me slow down. Spending time with her is good for my soul. She leans in as I share my stories and her lovely brown eyes invite me to tell her more. She smiles when I tell too many stories about how wonderful my grandchildren are. She will not let me take myself too seriously and will clasp her hands to her face and turn away if it seems that I am starting to do so. She is honest with me and I am refreshed by being with her. We communicate heart to heart.
Like a slow cup of tea, our friendship is never rushed. You see, my dear friend and I do not communicate in traditional ways. She does not talk. She does not use sign language or picture symbols. She relies on my investment of time to get to know her heart and how she expresses herself. She makes eye contact, she smiles, she pulls away, she reaches out to touch me, she sighs heavily, she cries. She communicates with trust. She is a gift.
Holding the trust of another person is a sacred thing.