While Beverly Hills Psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman interviewed me on her radio show on August 17, 2010, she surmised that I must have a warm and happy childhood memory about tea that led me to have the passion and fascination I have for tea today. We were talking about my new book, but, of course, as a psychiatrist, she sees things a little bit differently than most.
I could instantly recall a wonderful childhood experience of an elderly neighbor woman making tea for me many times when I was barely four years old. It is one of my only clear memories before beginning kindergarten. She was kind and gentle and would take out a simple teacup for me and fill it with black tea. Then she would slice a lemon and drop a tangy slice into my cup. She showed me how to twirl a honey ladle into a jar of honey and make it over to my cup without losing a drop of honey on her tablecloth. I was one of many children in my family and this alone time with her made me feel special indeed.
This memory, sparked by Dr. Carole, led me to other memories that all seemed to involve teacups – yes, teacups. I remember my mother having ladies over for tea and bringing out all the fancy teacups and saucers for the gatherings. I have four sisters and we each had our favorite teacup from her varied assortment. Even when the good set of dishes came out for guests staying for dinner, we never used the teacups that came with the set; it was always my mother’s collection of brightly colored, floral, and patterned vintage teacups and saucers.
Trips to visit my mother’s ten sisters and my father’s five sisters resulted in similar tea time rituals – the china cabinets got opened and teacups and saucers came out – each was always complete with a story of where it came from, the year it was received or purchased, and who had passed it along to whom.
Being the eldest daughter, I was first to get married, and when I did, my mother let each one of my sisters have their favorite teacup and saucer, and then she gave me the rest of the teacups from her collection that she had begun to accumulate when she was still a teenager.
With a move from Canada to the United States, I noticed an absence of tea gatherings and my precious teacups remained in the back of my china cabinet for almost two decades.
At the age of forty-five, I brought to life a childhood dream by building a playhouse in my California backyard – just for me. When it came time to decorate it, I filled it with things that held special memories. The teacups made it onto a fancy shelf for all to see – well, mostly me. I would make myself tea and sit in my little playhouse where I would spend hours writing and sipping tea. Over the days and months that ensued, I drank out of each and every teacup many times. Six months later, I visited my first tea expo and my life took an amazing turn. Tea, teapots, and teacups all took on new meaning for me, but the old memories are still alive and well, still warm and special. Dr. Carole was right – they have indeed led to my fascination and appreciation of tea and family.
Honouring the divine feminine energy,
a force that unites all women,
I reconnect myself with this goddess intensity.
As sisters, we are one, one with each other, one with God/Goddess.
A sisterhood unified by more than
a spoken vow or sacred oath.
A bond that is inseparable,
inseverable and irresolvable.
This unity strengthens our individual spirits.
It opens my heart to see my own worth and purpose,
and all that is good because all is God.
I am so grateful for the blessings of my blood sisters,
my sisters in spirit, and the Divine Presence that joins us all.
Even with the strength of a spiritual sorority,
and even in times of joy, I give it all back to God.
The solidarity of our sorority is divinely sanctified and purified.
So I let it be and the joy of the
Sacred Feminine comes back to me.