I used to really want to be a coffee drinker. I loved the entire idea of it. All of it. Except the flavor. Then one day I discovered Chai and I realized it was never about the coffee. It was about the ritual. Now, especially this time of year, there is hardly a day that passes that I don't enjoy a Chai and while I first learned to make it in the microwave, I quickly realized that I preferred doing it in a more mindful way.
At some point I realized that the entire process is a comforting ritual for me. First I choose my cup, a more difficult part of the process than it may sound, then I fill my cup with milk, pour it into my special pot that I only use for tea, add my tea bag that I keep in a vintage glass jar, steep my tea until it is just the right color and temperature and pour it into my cup, adding honey and a dash of cinnamon. Next I decide where I will drink it. Will it be on the porch? In the dining room in front of the fire? In my corner of the sectional while I read?
Sometimes it's hard to decide. Often I drink my tea in the morning, especially if my Sweet Man is home and we can snuggle under a quilt on the front porch together, he with his coffee, me with my tea. But often I wait because I enjoy having it to look forward to later in the day. Not that there is a rule that says I can only have one a day. It just seems to work out that way.
Upon reflection I realize that comfort, traditions and rituals are very important in my life. Maybe it stems from the haphazard and impermanent way in which I grew up. I know that in my adult life, these things give me great pleasure. Sometimes a cup of tea is just a cup of tea, but sometimes it's a little gift of comfort you give yourself in the middle of a regular day, a hug in a mug.