Coffee vs tea
In a class on healthy emotional relationships that I am taking we have been asked to spend time in silence, slowing down our mind and learning to listen. It is hard. It doesn’t feel safe. It is a discipline I need but I am pushing back on relearning it. I am used to fast and efficient and slowing down to wonder and reflect are forgotten practices I need.
Creating and nurturing the inner life, while essential, is not a valued or common practice in the world in which I live. I am reminded of a quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God,But only he who seeks takes off his shoes; The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.”
Have I become a blackberry picker? Have I chosen to blur or ignore the focus on the things that matter, primarily the focus on Aslan being on the move?! Oh that I would see the ways that God is in this place.
I think it is like coffee versus tea. I used to only drink tea. In fact I was nearly 40 and dealing with the arctic weather of Illinois before I began drinking coffee at all. Now, while I still prefer tea, I probably drink more coffee. Why? Because it is faster! The idea of coffee is to ingest the caffeine to go faster, to wake up and get going.
Tea is meant to be brewed and sipped. It is slower and more thoughtful. For me, tea is a more communal or relational activity as well. Jim used to make tea every morning and often in the evenings and we shared the time and the tea together. I know that people meet for coffee to visit too but it feels more like an agenda type beverage or meeting accessory rather than a slowing down and visiting drink.
So here I sit. silently. reflecting and sipping. Join me?