August 27, 2016

A Sublimely Mindful Morning Ritual.

permission to use image by author

I awaken and notice my eyelids are unusually heavy. My brain feels like it’s covered in peach fuzz.

Hmmm, I didn’t drink last night. Why do I feel slightly hung over?

I snuggle up again with my soft, squishy pillows. I fall back asleep. I awaken once again to the sound of my husband placing a cup of tea down on the bedside table.

I smell the tea. He remembered to add vanilla cream.

With that incentive, I sit up and reach for my tea.

It’s in my favorite mug, the one I purchased on our trip to New York City three years ago.

It’s just an “I heart —” kind of mug, but it’s the shape of it that I like, round in the middle, slimming down just a tad on the bottom. It’s both big and dainty at the same time.

Now comes the best part: the first sip.

Usually it’s quite hot. This means I have to create a slurry of sorts inside my mouth, a tornado effect to cool the tea just enough so it does not burn the inside of my mouth.

When I swallow the tea it glides down in two streams on opposite sides of my throat. It creates a pleasant sensation, like a faint tickle that somehow feels just right.

The taste of that first sip is nothing short of sublime. Maybe it’s because it’s the first taste after a full night of sleep. But I swear I can taste the tea down into the ground from which it came.

The sweetness is a nice layering but the complexity of the tea still comes through. It fills my palette with an exotic taste. Later on, I read up on English Breakfast tea.

My tea is full-bodied and rich, originally a China black tea but now frequently including a strong Ceylon tea component. It may also include teas from Assam, Africa, and/or Indonesia.

This morning I am transported by the exotic smell and taste of my tea. It feels like I can step out of my home and into another world—it’s that close.

This doesn’t happen often. Most times, I take my tea and walk into the kitchen and stare out the window at the big, wide meadow cresting up toward powder-blue mountains.

But back to my peach fuzz brain. This is a new sensation. I know that it’s the result of a new medication they’ve given me, making me feel like I am on a one-way train with no end in sight.

My exotic reverie is disrupted as soon as I try to stand up from the bed. A sharp pain in the small of my back says hello, followed by an electric-burning sensation in my left foot. I stand still for a moment waiting for things to settle.

I continue on into the kitchen. I hear my son stirring, he’ll be up soon. I reach for my medication.

I am comforted by the fact that every day I am getting a little better. Also, in a strange way, I know that this physicality I took for granted, while amazing, kept me from stopping.

Just stopping all this asana, all this pedaling, all this….stuff.

Stopping—and listening to the chirping of birds, the majestic croak of bull frogs, the mating chirp of crickets and the ceaseless pecking of the wood pecker.

I am slowing down and letting things simmer and bubble and, in its own time, bring forth a new taste.


Author: Melanie Jackson

Image:  Author’s Own

Editor: Travis May

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Melanie Jackson