Wild thoughts while having a cup of tea.
The flavor was intense and mesmeric. The color black. It moved my mind into its growth, its genesis in the agriculture of Tanzania.
In my minds eye, I was there. I could see the knurled sun-darkened fingers picking the top leaves from the tea bush. The hands were experienced, and they were old hands before their time.
A large wicker basket hung off the picker’s shoulders like a backpack of a hiker. It was secured with crude cloth straps. There were no pockets for water bottles, sunscreen and trail- mix, only a large open basket at the top in which to put the select leaves for the drying process.
With each sip of my tea I wanted to say thank you to the picker. My enjoyment of the flavorful astringent beverage started with this person. I felt it. Here was an individual, like me with hopes and dreams, needs and wants, hurts and pains, laughs and cries, but unknown to me except for my distant and ethereal appreciation of the picker’s labor and skill.
We, as global citizens need to be more conscious of the other’s gifts that accentuate our pleasures. Instead of seeing ourselves as isolated in the comfortable confines of an industrial society with our things and flavors materializing from magic, we need to acknowledge, with appreciation, that many human beings contribute to our collective and singular enjoyments.
What we lack in our modern, cultured, privileged societies is the remembrance to give thanks. We have a penchant for indifference.
The native cultures of the world give thanks, not only for the courtesies of others in their community but for each animal life they take for sustenance and for each plant they harvest for food or medicine and in doing so they strengthen the nutrient and an even sentient bond between species.
We are all here in a symbiotic relationship of life; appreciation may be the catalyst for global peace, perhaps even mutual survival. Let's try it daily.
That was a good cup of tea.