Friday, July 25, 2014

Friendship and the Ritual of Tea

Do you long for a simpler time? Do you ever dream of a slower lifestyle, one where you have more hours in your day?

I do.

I love the opening lines in the header of this blog

 "Whether it's a conversation with a friend, a word that is penned, or a craft that is made, everything we do leaves a stitch in the fabric of time…"

These words evoke in me feelings of an era gone by, a simpler time.

There are pleasant ways in this busy world of ours to carve out quality time and return to days of yesteryear.

Many years ago I was introduced to the ritual of tea, served in a teapot on a tray with dainty cups and saucers. I was mesmerized with the grace and elegance of my hosts, Denley and Ann Caughman, my pastor and his wife. They had no idea of their impact on my life at the time. They do now, but this small town girl had never been exposed to such finery.

I.  Was. Hooked.

It was more than the tea itself, it was the hospitality displayed and shared. I soaked it in and decided then and there, I wanted to pattern my life after them. Their spiritual influence continues to this day.

Hospitality doesn't have to be complicated. A cup of tea, a piece of bread, warm conversation with friends, and relationships are deepened and flourish.
Kim, Stacy, and Dawn

Recently, I shared tea in my home with three friends preparing for a Bridal Tea. We pored over recipes and sipped different tea blends as we decided which ones we liked best.

One thing I love about the ritual of tea is you can't hurry when having tea. Typically, it's hot and you must sip. This causes you to slow down, or stop altogether in your mad dash and ponder life. Also, a cup and saucer are dainty china, so this too, forces one to be easy, gentle.

Anytime you sit around the table facing people, the natural flow of lively conversation begins. Hearts open to whatever is happening in our lives. It's the way we were created…for community.

Time…we all have the same amount. We choose how we spend it. We make our lives complicated by our choices and the choices we make for our children. I don't want to get to the end of my life and wish I'd used my time better.

Investing your life in others is never a waste of time. You will reap the benefits through lifelong friendships. When all is said and done, people are the only thing we can take to heaven, metaphorically speaking that is.

My dear friends Denley and Ann are still serving people. If you want to experience true southern hospitality and be served the finest food and tea in the south, they own a bed and breakfast in Marion, South Carolina.

How do you unwind and carve out the simple life? I'd love to hear in the comments.

You can find Cindy O'Brien at her blog  My Little Corner


  1. {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252
    {\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 ArialMT;}

    \f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
    \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 I love tea. Often a friend will text me, "Got tea?" And then she'll come over and we'll spend time sipping Earl Grey or Lady Earl. }

    1. One of my best friends loves Earl Grey tea. We have a tradition of going to a tea room every Christmas. Every time I hear of that blend of tea I think of the wonderful memories we have together. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beautiful. Time...we all have the same amount. WOW.

    1. Thanks Katy! Appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts!

  3. Cindy, beautiful post. It relaxed me just reading it! A cup of tea would make it even better!

    1. Thank you Laura! My thoughts exactly…A cup of tea gives you a whole new outlook!

  4. I long to sit and your kitchen and sip tea. Someday my friend. Thanks for the reminder. Hope you were productive in your selections for the tea!

    1. Nothing would make me happier Tammy than to have you in my kitchen for tea. Let's plan toward that, please! The Bridal Tea was lovely btw!! :)

  5. In China relationships happen over tea. The tea ceremony is a rather complicated affair of swirling, smelling, dumping . . . using only real tea leaves. "Tea" is a ceremony, a relationship, not a beverage. A lovely custom.

    1. Thank you Jo Ann for sharing! I know your experiences of living in China could lend authenticity to the ritual of tea. There's so much to learn.