They arrive, their cheeks flushed. . .
after dancing through snowy landscapes
and trekking up the slippery path to the cabin.
it is warm inside.
i have been tending the fire since early morning.
i help them off with boots, coats, scarves, mittens
and ask them to choose a bowl . . .
then we sit, face to face
as i pour tea
and we drink
looking into each others' eyes,
sharing a few moments.
We are surrounded by images of other hands
from previous encounters
each pair of hands holding a bowl.
And we listen to their stories
and to the sound of tea being poured.
We talk of tea memories,
of those we've shared tea with
mothers, fathers, lovers, aunts, grandparents. . .
of those who came from other lands. . .
from Ireland, England, Russia, Korea, Azerbajian . . .
where tea time was precious . . .
a time to connect
a time to relax
a time to share the day
to laugh, to cry, to comfort, to celebrate . . .
five minutes with each.
a brief connection. . .
but each one profound.
and as each person moves on.
they leave behind a trace,
a bit of themselves
that i continue to carry
into the day,
into this day.
so very precious. . .
and still very much alive
in this heart.