tchingDuring a recent weekday morning, I sluggishly climbed out of bed and started to putter around the room, going about my daily routine. “I am tired,” I complained half-heartedly to my husband, lacking the energy to expound any more on that statement.

“Why are you tired?” he asked. “You slept well.”  Indeed, I had slept well. In fact, I usually sleep well and while I may not get a consistent eight hours, it is normally sufficient. Why, then, was I on the verge of exhaustion? It didn’t make sense – or did it?

I thought back on the past few weeks and then on the past few months. It was a blur of long days and nights of work, social activities, and household responsibilities with almost no downtime. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a stretch of quiet time with a book or a movie. There was always just one more thing to check off my list. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy nearly all of my social activities and derive a lot of pleasure from my work. But there are times when the universe tells me in no uncertain terms that it is time to slow down and turn off the drive button. It may be in the form of a headache or a canker sore or an inability to focus, but whatever its form, its signal is clear – REST!

Last December, I received a lovely matcha tea set and fell in love all over again with this sweet green powder. There was something magical about gathering the ceramic bowl, the whisk, the sieve, the bamboo scoop, and the tea, gently measuring the tea into the bowl, boiling the water, letting it cool, pouring the water over the tea, and whisking it up into that sparkling emerald-green brew. By the time the ritual was complete, I had soaked up some of that elusive “rest” and was ready to sit quietly and sip my tea directly from the bowl – extending my restful period a bit longer. A tea bag would not have done the trick. Now, when I hear myself complain about being tired, I head for the kitchen to enjoy a bowl of matcha.

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