writing

Tea Ritual

On a quiet morning, in a small cabin aside a secluded lake, she wakes. Still in her nightgown, she runs her fingers through her hair to straighten it from her slumber. Her short hair is wild from a crazy night. A whisper of sound comes from her feet as she shuffles into the kitchen.

She opens and fills the kettle with fresh water. She sets it down on the burner and turns it on. While it boils, she gathers her supplies to make her wake-up concoction.

  • A tin of loose leaf Earl Grey Crème
  • A tea pot to steep her luscious tea
  • A strainer because no one wants to swallow the leaves
  • A sugar jar full of brown sugar for a bit of sweet
  • A bottle of sweetened condensed milk
  • A teaspoon to measure it all up
  • Teacups for her and her guest

Her teapot serves three to four cups. She opens the tin of tea and raises it to her nose. She inhales and savors the citrus and bergamot flavors. She carefully spoons out 4 teaspoons worth of tea into the strainer, then places the strainer into the teapot.

The kettle begins to boil and whistle. She’s quick to remove it from the stove so it won’t wake her guest. She opens the spout and pours the water over the strainer into the teapot, filling it up until the leaves are freely floating.

She sets a 5-minute timer to let the tea brew on her phone with a quiet chime, and makes her way to a chair facing out the window, looking at the lake. As the tea’s aroma takes over the small kitchenette, her mind wanders off to the wilderness outside. She watches a pair of squirrels running and jumping between the trees. One of her two cats jumps up on the chair across from her and looks out. He starts to make a quiet mewing sound, indicating he spies a bird. She looks in the direction of his eyes and spies a Steller’s Jay standing on the bush, eating small berries.

The chime begins to ring, so she rises and returns to her tea making. She removes the strainer and flips the leaves into the trash, then places the strainer in the sink. She pours the hot brew from the teapot into the two footed mugs and inhales its calming scent once more. She places the teapot back and covers it with a small cozy, then turns to the sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

She spoons in a heaping teaspoon of brown sugar into each cup and gives them each a stir. She then measures a heaping teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk into each cup and stirs until it is almost fully dissolved. Everyone seems to love a little dollop at the bottom of their mug so she doesn’t mix it in entirely.

She disappears down the hall to deliver her morning treat to her guest.

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