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.

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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!
Tea With Lemon Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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36 thoughts on “Hot Tea With Lemon

  1. Your tea looks inviting Charlie! It is annoying that there comes a point in your life that no matter what you do to relax before bedtime a few hours later you will be awakened at least once if not two or three times before sunrise. 🤨 As far as the hugging thing goes, I’m getting better at that.

  2. Usually, we have some hot weather in September but this year we are settling right into fall. Only it’s too soon for the glorious yellows and reds and singing winds. We are having the grey gloom though – like it’s dusk all day long. We don’t need tea or anything else to get to sleep. The light is lulling us to sleep all day long – it’s staying awake that’s the challenge!

  3. Want to share a recipe from my wife…. She take a butter nut squash and cut it in half, take the seeds out, and take the inside out and fry on coconut oil mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers with the inside of the squash…. Then she put all that inside the squash into the oven for about 45 minutes at 375…. Then put cheese on the top and let it melt… 😘😘😘😘 It’s simply delicious…. Try it….

  4. What a lovely cup of tea!!!! I so love the light and shadows how they play together!!! Wonderful colors. Hugs are one of the best things in life!!! You talking about hugs made me think of my friend Michelle. We met at a psychic fair she was a vendor at. We began to talk and she walked all over the fair with me. We connected so fast that when I was ready to leave I said. ‘Is it okay if I hug you?” she smiled and said “yes!!! I thought you would never ask!” Touch is such a special part of life that grabs us right in the heart. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! For this one, I took a touch more time and actually let my layers dry first! lol When you build up on dry watercolor that glow is much easier to achieve. That and my usual crazy high contrast approach by placing pure darks next to lights to enhance the effect. 😉

  5. I love to have a cup of tea like this one, Charlie. I wondered did you use it with a little honey, that thing tastes like Autumn’s flavors, a bit sour, a bit sweet, might have a bit bitter and passionate aroma. I love the season of hug, our culture is so differently,however, I’ve learnt to hug everyone. Yes, It’s warmth never known before 🥰

  6. A beautiful cup of tea, or as Liz Steel, another sketch artist says, “a cuppa”. I’m not a tea drinker, although it smells great. But I can imagine your cup filled with hot cider, a New England favorite with our chilly evenings coming now. And the hug is so American and a feature of many other cultures. On some cool, bright New England mornings I take the dogs out and it is so marvelous I want to just hug the whole world!

  7. I knew you would be a hugger. 🙂 I come from a hugging family. My husband not, but he learned early on to give in. Now he can’t leave me without a hug and an I love you. It took his mother 40 years to say it to her sons. :< Fortunately we taught our son well and he doesn't leave the house without saying it. No matter who's around. 😉 Someday maybe we will meet and hugs will be the first encounter. Nice cup of tea by the way!

  8. Charlie says, ” Suspending time for a bit to look at life from only the heart’s point of view. It’s an amazing act indeed,”

    Yes it is, and I would have given up treasure to see your mother-in-law’s face when you locked her in a bear hug.
    It makes me smile to think of it, and I’ll bet she smiles a warm and tender smile whenever she thinks of it.

  9. Hugs are always given to the family. Sometimes, it’s our greeting and all is right in the world. I go with green tea and topping it with a slice of lemon. Just enjoying them before the start of the day.

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