Dare to be a Revolutionary: Take Afternoon Tea!
The phrase ‘afternoon tea’ conjures up an old-world, fine-dining experience: refined, gentle people in a comfortable atmosphere who take time to converse with each other in quietness and peace, enjoying each other, the beauty of the table, the lovely aromas and flavors, the sense of rest. Yet, how antithetical this is to our modern culture! How can we possibly stop for something so deeply pleasant when we are rushing as fast as we can in our perpetual motion, under the heavy pressure of ‘The Tyranny of the Urgent?’
In all our noise and busyness, we forget to appreciate each other. We don’t even make time to celebrate the many good things we do have, or when we have an occasion that in all respects would demand a great celebration! So often, we just ‘move on’ without acknowledging or even processing the good. In doing this, our hearts are hardened and we forget a great truth – life is fragile, and we human beings crave conscious, deliberate joy; we wither and cannot grow when there is nothing to appreciate or celebrate.
How we need afternoon tea! This is more than food and drink; it is a way of approaching life, of taking time for the truly Important. How easy it is to let the Urgent crowd out the Important. Tea is meant to be not only a feast for the eyes and food for the body, but food for the soul as well: a relationship-bonding, soul-nourishing, well-filling practice. To us at The St. James Tearoom, this is truly what is behind the ‘Fine’ in the “Fine Dining” experience we create, and is the main purpose behind everything we do.
How do you want to be remembered? Do you sow joy around you? Will others remember you as winsome, a bright spot in a dreary landscape, drawing others to delight and to goodness? Sometimes it’s the day-by-day details that make memories, such as being the one person in a child’s life who cuts the apple into wedges and cuts the crusts off the sandwiches. Sometimes it is the planned, special occasions. Start an Afternoon Tea Circle. Meet with friends once a month, with a planned topic each month for discussion. Have tea alone with each grandchild. Get to know and appreciate each other. Celebrate a birthday. Commemorate a job well done. Rejoice in long-term, committed love.
Remember, sweet and good memories are the glue that cement lifetime relationships. And loving relationships are surely a reason to celebrate!
May we all become Revolutionaries in our own time – daring to buck the cultural trends that threaten to destroy our relationships, our bodies with stress, and eliminate the meaning in our lives. May we dare to become a revolutionary in how we celebrate not only the great moments, but the small, precious, ‘merely good’ moments and the relationships we have enjoyed for many years…
Yours for the return of Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence,
Mary Alice Higbie