I take time for tea, now
waiting for the water to come to a boil
letting me calm down, focus on the here and now
and pick out my cup and the kind of tea—
all I have to decide now, here and now.
The cup, one of a kind, made by hand by a friend,
a potter, an artist, who lives by the ocean,
and sees, in her art, life, and finds her
Slow down, the water tells me, not quite ready
and so I wait, and ponder the day, and life, and take time
to look at the birds on the feeder, to really look.
The roiling water finally turns to steam, and the whistle
sounds, calling me to the stove, to my cup, to feel the
heat of the kettle, feel the steam rise as it pours into the
cup, covering the tea, freeing its scent for my nose to
savor, as it steeps and soaks, turning hot water into
And, now, I wait, until it cools a bit, the steam
rising from the cup, filling the room with its scent,
again calling me to slow down, to wait, to be here
in the moment
with my cup of tea.
---Neal Lemery 2/28/2010