This tea dance of ours is about more than just tea, it is a connection that spans generations.
My daughter barrels through the back door, three sprigs of red clover clutched in her grubby hands, proudly taking them to the kitchen sink for rinsing. We bruise them and add them to the gallon jar with lemon balm clusters and silvery red raspberry leaves. A swirl of sweet local honey and the bubbling hot water is poured over top causing the warm glass to appear frosted with steam. Gently we rock the jar between our hands, using a tea towel to avoid scalding, and we watch the water become permeated with a greenish brown hue. The steep time used to drag on, eyes peeking over the counter, darting back and forth between the darkening water and the clock. This reason birthed a ritual for our steep time. We call it our Tea Dance.
Tea Dance is blend somewhere between an anticipation-filled rain dance and a traditional rhythmic tea ceremony. My tea timer plays a slow, Orient-inspired piece that signals the steep time’s end with jubilant chimes. We sway, circle, lift our hands, roll, and giggle as we wait; twirling circles in celebration once the chimes ring out. I unscrew the lid, a puff of hot water vapor escaping; pouring the liquid through our strainers perched delicately over warmed soup mugs. We breathe it in: sweet and earthy, smooth and nutritive, grown with love.
This tea dance of ours is about more than just tea, it is a connection that spans generations. Listening to my daughter ramble on about the medicinal qualities of plantain or watching her face light up when she comes in with exactly the right herb we need for a custom tea blend or meal, I watch the things that cause my heart to quicken or calm in joy and peace take residence in her own and smile. We don’t talk about that connection so much as feel it as we sway around the kitchen, inhale the herbal scents picked for steeping and snuggle in our rocker, mugs in hand enjoying the warmth and each other.