The miracle in a tea cup

January 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Well and it is: that first sip, however early or late your day starts: that initial mouthful, cleaning your palate, installing the mind-clearing effects of tea or coffee, carefully made, the first thing to really hold your attention, I mean, in a way that does you and none of the rest of them, real good, your moment, your tea or coffee – that important imbibing – is a ritual three seconds of bliss. It is the least expensive luxury but, in so many ways, the best, the closest to essential, for the majority of us, a necessity.

Don’t we wish it was all that easy, as easy as a cup of tea or coffee – orange juice – whatever that tiny blast is that is your tongue’s first wake up call, the one to move you into whatever follows?

Even given that a person might in fact begin the day with a smoothie or some other drink of power products, enhanced with fruit and a long or short list of ingredients … even so, that cup of tea or coffee a little later still provides the thrill of a simple, intimate hot drink, carrying a grain of magic that nothing else can beat.

It could be that the easy swig of that cup is the only easy we really want because here’s the problem: we love clutter; to collect and accumulate is at the base of so many passions.

Minimalists? Those who live in empty houses and sleep on bare floors with only a futon to keep them off the cool boards and a single old army blanket to cover their one pair of pyjamas that they wash once a week, along with the single sweater, shirt, trousers, pair of socks? 

Forget it – no one is like that in their hearts. We simply book into a hotel for the night and we still have our bathroom clutter and our suitcase full of stuff – of course, we do.

We need our stuff; it is a portable home – that hotel room hired for one night or a bunch can only be welcoming to us with our stuff in it. Otherwise, it is just a desperate hole in the wall, filled with the bacteria of the 1,000’s of other folk who have inhabited it over time and a decor that is a stranger to us.

Uncontrolled, clutter becomes dangerously wasteful. Look at how we shop: trolling the aisles in the dollar stores, grabbing any foolish trinket, so much plastic decor for trashing soon after, adding to the accumulation of trash clogging our landfills and waterways. A modicum of control would go well there.

Still and all, I wonder how tough on us is the clutter in our minds and this is not intentionally acquired by any one of us, as are the material things we cling to. 

There was a letter to the editor of this esteemed journal, expressing the view that only persons qualified for the job should be permitted to run for office. That would reduce the clutter of fools and madmen that do run, do out-shout the others, do collect a string of yes-persons who can be bullied into giving a standing ovation every time their leader -er- burbs. The candidates, showing definitively their fine qualifications for the jobs in government would diminish in their numbers to barely be enough to cover the jobs. We could hire lots of assistants, I guess.

The trouble with democracy, as a person who has been very involved with it, pointed out is: to have real democracy, the door has to be open to anyone, regardless, who can convince enough voters to vote for him/her/them. We didn’t get into how that voting ought to be organized.

Yes, the mental clutter pushed at us by the politics of shouting and tweeting, the opinions of everybody and the sucking at our personal data which is then regurgitated all over our computer screens is truly mind boggling and extremely hard to dodge.

Having said that, the source of this clutter is our contraptions. So, the break from it, harmful as it, is to walk away from those contraptions on a regular basis and to protect our children from them for many more early years of their lives than most people do.

I am far from being the first or only person to call for this – scientists and psychologists are urging parents not to let their tiny children anywhere near a screen, at all, until after the age of three, then very limited until after the age of five or even older. 

They urge everyone to leave that cell phone on a table at home and go for a walk, especially within a green space, even in the city. 

The good news is that people are beginning to believe this advice and act on it.

We could all have a phone-free start during that morning miracle in the cup of tea or coffee.


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