Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Russian Reflection Moment


My sister-in-law took me to Siberia when I was 20 years old. She was attending the 1st Conference on Children's Health with some other medical and dental professionals. I was her office manager at the time, working my way through college. It was my first foreign adventure crossing an ocean.

I remember the warmth of welcome from the people, their amazing food that was so "meat and potatoes" but so fresh and so delicious. Their penchant for sitting around after dinner and singing folk songs. Their readiness to laugh and have fun. The vodka. Good heavens, the vodka.

I saw a Siberian city in total disrepair, a country in which Communism had just fallen and Democracy was barely seeping into the vocabulary. And yet.  And yet... There was a strength of spirit, a turn-your-collar-up-against-the-wind-and-keep-trudging-forward determination.

I'm sipping one of my staple teas: Romanoff, an organic, blood-orange-infused, strong black tea from American Tea Room.  There's something so severe and yet so comforting in this blend that keeps the obsession going.  It is in this cup that I am reminded of that determination, that strength of spirit paired with the readiness for fun. Sometimes that's what's missing. Looking for the opportunity to laugh, have fun, make light of the gravitas that may well be at hand.

Lesson learned.