Those of us living in the U.S. have undoubtedly seen reports of the “worst hurricane” to hit the continental U.S. – in forever. Over 50 inches of rain fell in some parts of Texas. I read today that the death toll has exceeded 60 people. Countless lives have been impacted with homes, businesses, and property damaged beyond recognition. I understand that insurance companies are using drones to help process claims more quickly, especially in areas where it’s still not safe to travel.

Today, as I sip my morning tea, in my favorite chair by the window, hoping to enjoy the natural beauty of my area, I am surrounded by fog – or smoke as the case may be. Visibility is perhaps 100 feet. The main highway has been closed due to poor visibility and the fire is yet to be contained. Over 10,000 acres have burned thus far in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It appears the fire was started by two teenage boys throwing firecrackers into the woods. With days of 100+ degree heat, and no relief in sight, the fire continues to burn our precious national forest surrounding this visually spectacular region.

As is my wont, I checked out World Tea News to get updated about the tea industry and much to my horror, I see that tea growing regions in Assam, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have been inundated with extreme Monsoon conditions. Their death toll is over 1,200 people.

Had I not gone to the World Tea News web site, I would have missed this tragedy. How can the loss of 1,200 people be missed by the media in this country? Is it that there is so much suffering each day that we’ve become immune to hardships that don’t hit closer to home?

I remember recently being concerned about droughts in those regions and how that would affect tea supplies around the globe in the future. Today, I worry about the families of those who have died from these horrible floods – around the world.

It reminds me how lucky we are to be dealing with our day to day stressors that typically aren’t life threatening. Perhaps we can learn to dial down that tension we’re holding in our bodies, and have a new perspective with which to measure our burdens. I hope each sip of my tea will remind me how fortunate I am to be safe and enjoying yet another simple cup of my favorite tea.