Like Okakura, I know that tea is no minor beverage. When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everyone else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?
The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and of the poor; the tea ritual, therefore has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.
~ The Elegance of the Hedgehog, p.91.
Though I don’t quite miss the chilly weather of Toronto, it’s strange to see rain on a daily basis now I’m back in BC.
For me, pouring rain and wind equals warm knitted sweaters, soup recipes that warm you up from head to toe and deep within, and Taboo and Risk for cold nights. And it means baking crumbly apple crisp, drinking cardamom chai in mugs the colour of the summer sky, and writing letters to far off friends on bright sunshiny paper.
And of course, it means a fresh reading list for those evenings when a warm blanket and tea is much more appealing than venturing outside.
And that’s where you come in readers. I’m nearly finished reading How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton, and I’m curious.. What have you read recently/hope to read soon? This is always one of my favourite/most referred to threads, so please do leave a suggestion in the comments below! Also, what does rainy weather make you think of?