Tuesday, December 13, 2011
In Japan the class visited the local tea teacher in Kamikatsu where we got a taste of the formal tea ceremony. She talked about setting up the kettle on the coals so that when the water came to the boil it made a gentle rustling noise - which she said was meant to sound like the wind in the pines.
I love the sound of the wind in the dried leaves at this time of year, rustling about above me as I walk in the evening. Even in the cold, dark and dry days of winter, there is a sense of purpose and energy in that sound. Life stirs even in the depths of winter.
It's the time of year when I too often run on short sleep rations (despite my best intentions). As a result, a cup of strong, sweet tea can be an enormous grace. Yesterday visitors came and went in my office. Quantum mechanics. Mysticism. (Yes, at the moment these are not the same topic in my office - which is not to say that I don't have some mystified quantum students.) Collegial errands. As I tried to gather the final bits for a talk I gave this afternoon in Washington, DC, I put the kettle on to boil.
I turned to my computer to pull another thread into the talk. Something kept tugging at the edge of my awareness. What is that gentle tinkling noise, too melodic to be a rattle? Window is secure. No one is knocking on the door (for the moment)....
The vibrations from the kettle are just enough to make the glass sugar jar jiggle the tea pot, with the resulting delighful sound. Grace's whispers.