For our prompt of “Tea” today, I opted for a bit of hot tea with lemon. Where I live, the heat of summer is still coming back and refuses to leave quietly. But, I’m in an autumn mood, so I’m ignoring the heat and pretending that the air already has that familiar chill that I adore so much. Philippe agrees and our menu has therefore switched to lovely things like acorn squash and Brussels sprouts. As for hot tea, we have that each evening just before going to bed. It’s an herbal variety meant to soothe and make one sleepy. While this works well enough initially, having to wake up and pee a few hours later leaves a bit to be desired. But, it’s a lovely ritual, and those are just too precious to stop. That said, we’ve taken to only drinking half of the tea in the cup instead. The reason I love autumn so much is the cozy feeling that comes with the chillier air. It’s the season of hugs! Whether you have to hug yourself to keep warm, or even better, cuddle up to someone else. No matter the source, I just love hugs! If I’ve met someone for the first time and we’ve gotten along particularly well, I always want to hug them and usually do. I’ve learned, however, that not everyone is a hugger, so I try to be more careful in accessing the situation more nowadays.
When I was first visiting my family in France, I was quick to discover that hugs are not the normal way to say hello and goodbye. Indeed, it was instead with two kisses, which one would deem even more intimate, but these are delivered to the air instead by simply touching cheeks. Yet, early on, I had such a lovely time with Philippe’s mother at lunch once that I threw caution to the wind and gave her an American “bear” hug as we left. She was suitably shocked by the action, but thankfully just clasped her hands to her heart and turned to Philippe and said, “J’adore!” Proof that even those not accustomed to heavy hugging can indeed enjoy it in just the right moment. Indeed, I quite adore my in-laws and even managed to plant an actual kiss on the cheek of my sister-in-law as we were leaving on our last visit. I initially worried that I’d done something terribly wrong, but her eyes just said, “I’ll miss you too.” I’ve always just wanted to hold close the people I love in my life. I want to memorize the feeling of them being next to me, particularly when I only get to see them on rare and special occasions. It’s that warmth that gets me through until I can see them once again.
And, oddly coming back to the illustration today, that’s why I love hot tea. I love that bit of warmth that comes for Philippe and I at the end of each day. No matter what actually happened during the day, be it wonderful or stressful, I just enjoy a little chance to decompress and relax for a moment. Relaxation is a curious place indeed as it exists in the perfect middle of all things amazing and distressful. It’s the center of life itself. The same space we can feel when boredom sets in, in fact. But there’s nothing boring about taking a moment to recharge and enjoy life. I love these middle moments most of all. They are the ones where I have my best ideas, where I stop worrying about things I cannot change, and where I can focus on the most positive aspects of life. In short, the most important moments of all. As much as I cheerlead the act of DOing as much as one can, I equally support the act of taking a moment to do nothing much at all. Suspending time for a bit to look at life from only the heart’s point of view. It’s an amazing act indeed, that can often be acquired by something as ridiculously simple as a bit of hot tea with lemon.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!