Peace in a Tea Bowl / Spokój w Czarce Herbaty

The delicate, nearly see-through mist drifts across the meadow, lifting unhurriedly and letting the golden light of dawn illuminate the dew-soaked grass. The wildflowers turn their heads lazily towards the sky as they seek the warmth of the first sun rays. With a wicker basket in her hand, a young woman enters this pristine temple of nature. She creeps carefully among cornflowers, poppies, daisies and buttercups, stopping from time to time to admire their beauty, or to observe the bees, sticking their pollen-covered bums out of the flower heads. The young woman looks up and sees a few fluffy clouds, travelling through the sky, shapeshifting into rabbits or mice. She smiles as she takes a deep breath, inhaling the fresh early summer air.

The young woman leaves the meadow and continues her walk down the dirt path. What are those shimmering pink crystals in the hedgerow? She tiptoes towards them, and as she gets closer, she discovers the most magnificent wild rose bush she has ever seen. Its sweet perfume fills the air.

“Good morning, Sister, could I collect some of your lovely petals, please?” she murmurs respectfully, her nose touching one of the flowers gently. The young woman closes her eyes and stands still, listening carefully to the birdsong, blending with the closeby birches’ whispers, the rustles of the grass, and the drum of her heartbeat. She lets the sounds and the scents hug her soul and wash away all the worries she woke up with this morning.

“Yes…” comes the barley hearable consent, and the young woman opens her eyes.
“Thank you for your kind offering, Sister,” she says and bows her head, hands pressed together at her chest; then carefully picks up a few petals and puts them into her basket.

Feeling honoured and relaxed, the woman comes back home. In her rustic kitchen, she takes out the rose petals and spreads them over a linen towel. There they stay for a couple of days, warm and cosy. When they are dried and ready, the woman separates them into mason jars. Content, she places them on the shelf next to other mason jars containing various blends of herbal teas.

A few weeks go by, and the woman is busy with her day-to-day life. One day, though, she has a guest; her dear friend, who finds herself in a bit of trouble, visits her.
“The sadness sits heavily in my chest”, says the friend with a sigh, sinking into a soft armchair.
With her heart sparkling with empathy, the young woman looks at her friend and touches her hand affectionately.
“Wait,” she says warmly and disappears into the kitchen.
After ten minutes or so, she comes back with a tray, on which she brings a little red teapot and two matching tea bowls.
“There,” she says and passes one of them to her friend, “Close your eyes and inhale its scent for a moment and then take a sip. Let the tea sit on your tongue for a few seconds before you swallow it.”

The friend follows the instruction. The brew smells heavenly, sweet and serene. As soon as the delicate wisp of tea steam reaches her nose, the friend finds herself on the dirt path. Behind her, she sees the meadow, on the horizon in front of her the birch forest. Just next to her, in a hedgerow, a pink rose bush. She can smell all the beautiful fragrances of nature: the morning dew, the wildflowers, the rose itself.

The friend takes a sip and feels all her worries; all the sadness wash away with the golden brew. With every sip, she welcomes the tranquillity flowing into her body. For a moment, she forgets all her sorrows. Touch, she senses the young woman squeezing her hand – love, understanding and support travel over the invisible bridge that forms between them. They exchange smiles. Drinking their rose tea, they enjoy each other’s company, and the silence – the timeless connection between two souls.
“Thank you,” says the friend.
“Not at all! It is how magic works,” says the young woman with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

In the hedgerow, two new rose flowers come to life.

“Rose” Art by Monika Holmes

The story was inspired by the paining I made during one of the creative sessions I had with my friend this summer.

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