After nearly a year of being, for all intents and purposes, an invalid, I've learned a lot about real love, grace, friendship and gratitude. And while I will most likely be throwing out striking (to me) examples of these lessons over the next weeks and months, one that has danced around my conscience over the past several days is the kindness of strangers. Well, maybe not strangers exactly, but the kindness of acquaintances.
At one point during my pregnancy, oranges actually sounded appealing. And because of the novelty of any food sounding appealing, I tweeted the fact that day. In response, Beth from TeasEtc said it sounded like I was in need of citrus, and she immediately mailed me several samples of citrus-infused teas! Upon receipt, I immediately brewed one of the samples. Unfortunately, my difficult taste buds altered the flavor and I knew that I was not experiencing the true nature of the tea. I tried once or twice more and then set aside one of the samples to be enjoyed on a day post-delivery. Today is that day.
I've been eyeing the small Meyer Lemon package of tea with longing for a few months now. It has become such a symbol of hope and generosity that I admit I've built quite the Ivory Tower for it. But today is the day I finally indulge in this gift. The sun is shining, the sky is a gentle blue with just a few wispy clouds floating lazily in the breeze, and everywhere I look there are flowers blooming in those bright, cheery colors of spring.
I've brewed this tea in one of the platinum banded teacups from my wedding china - a gift from my in-laws. I'm impressed with the deep, dark amber liquid of the steeped tea. It is gently lemon scented, but it's more of a wild lemon scent, not of the cleaning-product variety, and it's not over-powering - a very good sign. Here we go. The first sip...
I am pleasantly surprised at the robust tea flavor accented lightly, but clearly, with both lemon and a hint of orange. Smooth, smooth, velvety smooth, I have to force myself to take small, ladylike sips when I would actually prefer to chug the whole cup in one fell swoop!
Beth and I know a couple of things about each other. We indulge in the guilty pleasure that is Project Runway, and we enjoy the many aspects of tea. And those little ties were enough for her to show me a small but impactful kindness. Have people sent me samples of tea before? Yes, and I enjoy and appreciate each one immensely! But this one touched me because she responded to a specific joy I had mentioned, and she wanted to add to that joy. That kind of thoughtfulness, that seemingly small gesture is what people refer to when they say, "It may not change the world, but it changed my world." And isn't that just as valuable? Maybe more so? To impact the world of one other person.
So, thank you, Beth and TeasEtc for not only bringing more joy to my world but for introducing me to this lovely tea! I'm off to brew another cup (or 12) this instant. And I'm going to forego the niceties this time. I'm chugging the next round. It's that good.