Timing is Everything

There is that anticipatory moment,
when the kettle sings and I rush to snap the stove top knob shut,
the satisfying gurgle of the hot water overtaking the tea bag

pixshark

pixshark


tumbling
down
around
then up
plump and pregnant
releasing its aromatic gifts

The two to three minute steep time seems an eternity
and yet not as long as waiting for the first sip
that won’t scald the tongue

Too soon and there is an acrid taste on the tip of my tongue for the rest of the day
Too long and the water is lukewarm, a let down after such hot expectations

There is a small window,
an optimum sipping time
Bright hot, but not burning
Satisfyingly warm, but not wimpy

My impatience often gets the better of me
and after a few near misses of steamed nostrils and blistered lips,
I move on to something else,
my mug mellowing on the coffee table.

When I remember and/or return,
I am able to gulp several swallows at once.
Not at all the way tea is meant to be drunk.

The taking in of tea is meant to be an experience.
As important as its ingestion is the warming of the hands around the mug,
the waiting, the inhaling,
the sensory experience.
Not the amount of things to be ticked off the to-do list while I’m waiting.

Timing is everything –
but sometimes it’s also about letting it stop.

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