Monday, June 22, 2015


After gathering wood, fetching water, and building a fire, there's a moment of pause while the water comes to a boil. Breathing in the scene, the old master must have noticed the camellia bush above, leaves waving gently. Familiar with hundreds of plants at hand, it's a surprise this herbal doctor hadn't known this one for its benefits. That is, until fate would have a single leaf, brimming with rejuvenating essence, tumbling into the master's pot, now at a boil after the long pause. Maybe it was sheer luck that he recognized the botanical acquaintance, saw that fateful plunge, and payed attention as the infusion lifted his spirits and focused his mind. But luck doesn't have work so well without taking the time to breathe, to notice.

That's the story at least. I guess the sage's name was Shen Nong. He's China's original tea drinker. Other cultures will tell you it's the Buddha's eyelashes, magically turned into tea seeds. Maybe it's none of these, but rather a long and subtle history from way back, humans munching on leaves since the stone age. I think the above story about Shen Nong gives a great insight into tea culture, though. Awareness is the human movement most associated with tea. It is, after all, contemplative act, sipping a hot beverage.

Hope you find a time to slow down and notice something that luck is showing  you today. If you're really lucky, it'll be over a warm drink.

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