Saturday mornings have turned into my private getaway day. Gene takes on Edie, and I escape for a couple of hours to do any exotic thing I desire. This has typically meant that I sneak away to the library to check out 3 books, and then sit in the attached coffee house, The Neighborhood Cup, for a cup of tea or coffee and a bit of reading.
These days, however, I have had a strong hankering for sushi. The reason? I can’t explain. I’m originally from the Northwest United States. Sushi in that region is considered g-r-o-s-s amongst the majority of the population. But since our move to California 10 years ago and an abrupt introduction to it during one of my first annual review meetings with my boss (in which I was desperately trying to act mature and sophisticated), I have come to enjoy and even crave it.
So, on my Saturday mornings, I have become a regular at Kan Pai sushi. They bring me my beverage without even having to ask. They know I will always order a crunchy roll and a tuna or salmon roll. The waitress, who I suspect is also one of the owners, made the observation, “You’re always reading.” Yes. Yes, I am. I am escaping into someone else’s world, just for an hour or so, re-energizing so I can dive into the new week. And keeping me and my book company is always their pot of tea. A bagged oolong, it doesn’t matter really. Because a tea moment can often be about the moment itself. What is happening there, what is being discovered or soothed or mulled over. The quality of tea can be something special. But on these Saturday sushi and tea moments, the point of it all is to just be.
I can’t remember the last time we had a leisurely Saturday morning as a family. I’m sure it wasn’t really that long ago, but with the holidays and various projects going on I can’t really pinpoint when the last one was.
So, as Gene made breakfast and Edie played with her entourage that consists of Elmo, “Puppy” (though his real name is “Sal,” which is French for “dirty” because we got him at a sketchy shop in Paris), “Ow” (Short for “Meow,” and because she can’t pronounce the stuffed cat’s original name of “Micio”) and “Baby” (yes, we need to start working on some more creative names overall), I brewed myself a small pot of tea. And not just any tea, mind you. It was Wen Shan Bao Zhong, courtesy of Naivetea. While owner Lawrence focuses primarily on oolong, he suggested this green oolong as a way of easing me into the world of green teas.
I am enjoying the experiencing of new flavors and nuances of tea, so I surprised myself by excitedly anticipating this first sip. My tea mentors have not led me astray thus far, so I continue to put my faith in their introductions. Inhaling the rising steam, I envisioned freshly mown hay in rolling hills, a soft floral perfume intertwining with it. The liquid is a bolder amber color than the gold I expected. The first taste. There is that grassiness that I associate with green tea, but it’s in the background and it’s resting on a velvety-soft body. The floral notes smooth the green edges of this tea, and I see how this could be a reliable companion throughout my entire day.
=The family is fed, the sun is shining with this January day promising to edge up into the 70’s, the dog has already found a sunny spot in which to lounge and nap. Today, this is what happiness looks like, and I love it.
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