We’ve gotten the royal wedding out of the way, so what now? Summer remains a full month away, and today is a dull, dispiriting day.
It seems that we as a society want—or even need—to have something to look forward to, like Meghan and Harry’s wedding. Sure it’s also a marketing opportunity/ploy (however you want to view it), but there is more involved.
It’s like the weather—a topic that you can remark on to a stranger in the elevator or while standing in line and you have immediate common ground.
In ethnographic studies, seasonal rounds loom large—because season dictates not only the food availability, the growing and harvesting periods, the hunting activities, and so on, but because season drives many of the traditions and norms of that culture.
And when you think about it, that seasonal round gives people something to anticipate, plan for, look forward to. It can give meaning to their days.
Which is something that we all need, especially if our daily lives have become monotonous or limited or difficult for whatever reason.
But it seems to me that those things we grab on to don’t need to be large or important; if they impart a feeling of anticipation and a sense of accomplishment, they are highly satisfying.
They can be small rituals, personal rituals, part of one’s daily rhythm, our personalized daily round if you would.
First there’s the selection of the tea itself. Which involves many decisions:
- hot or iced (which, for me, means entirely different teas and is both weather and season dependent)
- caffeine or no; the latter will send me to the herbal, fruit, and rooibos teas
- classic or aroma blend
- black or oolong or green or white
- full-bodied or delicate
- having tea alone or with food
- having tea alone (such an imprecise language we have) or with friends
The above decisions inform my next choice. Do I want:
- a heat-resistant glass into which I can pour hot tea over ice cubes
- a small teapot for multiple brewing of the same leaves
- a larger teapot
- porcelain, clay, glass, iron?
The tea dictates the measuring of the tea and the water temperature and the brewing time. All precise things that must be attended to.
And how do I want to drink the tea? Formal or informal or travel mug? Not to mention where to sip that tea: at the table, on the deck, with a book?
Finally, that perfect cup of tea.
It’s a small ritual.
But it’s filled with decisions that you must make, and you find that you can make them, and you feel that you have accomplished something, and in the end, you have made something valuable.
It’s a small ritual.
But just enough to add a bit of meaning and pleasure to my day.