It began to snow at 2 PM on Tuesday and didn’t stop. We accumulated eight inches at my house but much more a little way up the hill. And it was somewhere up there that the snow load broke a branch that downed an electrical line and exploded a transformer that took out our section of the local grid. At that very moment, I was struggling with a blank page; trying to write my first-ever Thanksgiving post for T Ching since becoming publisher. As the lights went out, so did all my brilliant ideas.

I’m in one of the areas that suffered multiple power shutdowns because of the threat of fire. Even though Mother Nature had a hand in this event — and gifted us with the beauty of snow to soften the frustration — it was useless to continue composing my post.

I woke up long before morning light, hoping to be inspired by a cup of tea. So I took special care choosing tea and teaware. It worked! The phrase … gratitude in a cup of tea … came to mind. 

I was grateful: 

  • For the beautiful Japanese tea that I purchased at the Northwest Tea Festival from a friend and colleague.
  • For the memories of all the tea festivals this year and all the friends who shared those days with me.
  • To the growers in Japan who originally crafted the tea; all the tea masters, farmers, pluckers, factory workers and distributors.  
  • To the friends who tea-toured Japan and brought me the Kyusu teapot, now a daily favorite.
  • For the teacup that had been my mother’s favorite, now passed down to me.
  • For the decision I made ten years ago to have a gas oven that I could match-light so that I’d always be able to have tea.
  • To Lu Yu for writing, Classic of Tea that compared the temperatures of boiling water to the size of aquatic animal eyeballs (so I could successfully brew my delicate green tea).
    • And to my tea mentors who shared this wisdom with me about 15 years ago.
  • To all my tea friends who are waking up today, preparing their first-of-the day cups of tea.
  • For the everyday mindfulness that tea inspires.
  • For the realization that every cup of tea can be prepared with gratitude.

Even though “Thanksgiving” is a U.S. holiday associated with our early history, the practice of setting aside a day with family and friends to share our gratitude for each other is a wonderful way to prepare for the end of the year and transition to the next year waiting on the horizon. 

Tea pairs well with gratitude. And I have one last item to add to the list. As the light outside begins to shine through the window so that I can see the snow continuing to fall, I’m inspired to write another post: What tea pairs with snow melt?  Any suggestions? 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Happy tea cup full of gratitude.

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