Tea and People

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Tea is about connecting with people.  Well sometimes it is just about having a drink but if we look a little closer it can mean so much more.  I love Wednesday nights.  If I am in Santa Barbara I get to be at Bible Study with an amazing group of people and when I am in Sacramento I am blessed with a group of women to have tea with, talk and solve the problems of the world.  We bond over Good Earth sweet and spicy tea.  It’s a delightful way to get to know people and have conversations that really allow you to get to dig a little deeper.  This can range from the inane and trivial to tear bathed heart breaking confessions.  But it is all part of the same connecting process.

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Good Earth sweet and spicy tea also has special significance for me because I was first introduced to this tea in Papua New Guinea.  There it was also used to form a bond within a sweet relationship.  Juliann became my friend and roommate.  And most recently I was able to see her with her husband and new baby girl while I was in Perth.   While living in PNG countless boxes were sent over the ocean.  They made me very happy and helped bond even more friendships over a simple cup.

Tea has also gained more significance through my Australian teammate Shannon’s work.  I wrote a bit about the teabag work in my blog about the Australian Team’s Art but there is so much more meaning hidden in the layers of metaphor, story and history.  This blog post written by the gallery in Indianapolis where the team showed their artwork gives you another taste of the tea story that Shannon is telling.  She says, “I learned to meet my new community over cups of tea.  It became how I got to know people and became familiar with my new neighborhoods.  As I collected new experiences, people, and customs, I collected the remnants of these moments, often in the form of tea bags.”

It’s not just about tea, it’s about the relationships and experiences that come with each sip.  I would encourage you to find a friend, new or old, and enjoy a cup of tea today.

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