Call me reckless, call me delicate, but when 4 pm comes calling on a week day afternoon, I’m hanging out for a cuppa. And what better way to serve it, then with a plate of contemplation. They’re the best of mates really.
Now coffee and me go waaaaaay back, and I’m just as human as the next and don’t mind the odd glass of vino, but there’s no denying I’m a Tea drinker at heart.
I may have strayed at times; the lure of the coffee buzz feeding an unnecessary addiction, but the romance of tea and it’s traditions, have always kept me grounded.
Before this reads like an advertisement for Dilmah, I need to assure you dear reader that there is a more philosophical point to this conversation.
And that is ironically it…. The worth in sitting down to a moment of contemplation or indeed conversation, over a warm brew of kindness found in a cuppa.
While traditionally enjoyed by the elite, snobbish, there is no denying that today having a cuppa is something shared by the masses, the world over.
And while we gratifyingly sip away, contemplation simply seems to flow forth. A few valued minutes to ruminate on our most immediate thoughts or those that we have reserved for such an occasion.
Be it by ourselves or in the company of others, there is something satisfying about giving in to it.
We wonder about our day, how this person made us feel, why we reacted the way we did, how we can solve this or that dilemma. It’s an informal opportunity if you like to review ourselves and our thought processes.
This somewhat small act can in fact benefit us in more profound ways if, according to pragmatic philosopher John Dewey, we are to consider ‘thought’ as an instrument for problem solving and action.
“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” J. Dewey
Humble though it may seem, a cuppa is also quick to beguile us with it’s calming qualities, reassuring us that life can move at a slower pace.
One of my earliest memories as a kid was waking to the comforting sound of the kettle on the boil, followed by the gentle hum of conversation coming from my parents room, as they casually sipped their morning tea.
What a way to start the day!
Likewise, visits to my Grandmas house seemed to involved nothing but tea and chitter chatter and of course, an ample supply of boiled fruit cake. Time certainly moved at a more comfortable pace on these occasions.
Just what was spoken about is of little matter I’m sure. It was more the opportunity to discuss, take stock and perhaps reflect on things.
The permission to stop, rest or revive ourselves, and enjoy a conversation with others is one of life’s simple pleasures, worth far more than we care to quantify.
Now, as an adult I feel time slow, ever so slightly while sipping on my own cuppa and am reassured that this form of modern meditation has many benefits of which I am happy to indulge.
Suddenly this rather unassuming act (a simple pleasure) holds much weight.
Whether it is the cup of tea itself or the time out that it allows, contemplation and or conversation ensue and this is a mateship I’m all for.