March 17, 2019
By Arthur H. Gunther III
(also on Facebook)
(For St. Patrick’s Day)
There cannot be the Irish without tea. When the person holds a cup, it is the soul that comes to visit, both to nourish and to be nourished. Every sadness, every joy, every birth, every passing, every harvest, every leaving home of a once child, all that is before you, in reflection, in that cup of tea.
My own mother, of pure Irish out of Donegal and an English father from Hartlepool, never had a morning or an afternoon or an evening without her strong tea. During the world war, she gave up rationed sugar and saved on milk by using a canned condensed mix. But the tea she would not be without.
There are moments when you have tea. If you stir quickly, you might be nervous. If you sip with two hands on the cup, you may be enjoying your company. If you are a woman in love, you may leave a bit more lipstick on the edge.
Tea is that friend who never leaves, never ages, never talks back. It is the wisdom, the lessons, the sacrifices of generations there, in that cup. And the future, too.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. firstname.lastname@example.org