Saturday Morning Tea

After a cool very springlike May, temperatures have started to slowly creep up this past week so now mornings are in the 50s when I leave for work. With temps in the 40s every morning for the longest time, I was beginning to feel that I had put away that winter jacket way too early! Last week I tried a first flush black Darjeeling from the Arya estate. This morning I am continuing with my Arya theme by trying their white tea called White Pearl. Its processing is as precious as its name. The full leaf sets are plucked at dawn when the dew is still wet on the leaves. After drying in the sun for several hours they are then carefully rolled in silk cloth and then allowed more drying time. This is truly a very unique artisan tea.

The beauty and quality of the leaf is apparent in this full leaf set I extracted from my steeped leaf. Guidelines call for an 8-11 minute steeping time in 180 degree F water. As I only had a precious 4 grams of this tea, I wanted to be able to resteep the leaves so my first steeping was at 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a pale straw color with crisp delicate vegetal notes. It was very light tasting.

I decided to resteep the leaves for 8 minutes and lowered the water temperature to 170 degrees F. The resulting liquor is stronger with a more pronounced crisp fruitiness that reminds me of a light crisp white wine. This tea would be fabulous iced with a floating slice of lemon in your glass and a wedge of melon on the side. Summer is coming!

A Woodland Walk

Yesterday we went for a walk in the woods. The moment I step on the path, I feel enveloped in a hush, a quiet that I don’t know in my regular day to day world. To me, the woods are a sacred place where everything is as it should be and “being” is the way of life. A deep calm permeates my whole being with every step along my woodland journey.

The ladyslippers, orchids of the woodland, are in full bloom under the trees. We found this beauty in a ray of sunlight, like she was on stage taking her bows. Oh, what treasures we find as we go deeper along our path.

I love the way the light plays amongst the leaves, giving it that dappled appearance.

I found this little hidden place at the base of a tree. Why am I so drawn to trees these days? Their strength, their majesty, their rootedness. I think of all of these qualities as I lay down the beads on my March journal page. As predicted, I didn’t get much done at my guild meeting but I had some time last night to work on it and, hopefully, some time this evening, too. I’m still considering what to do about the roots and the sides of the tree. I want to hang a couple of dangly roots to symbolize my inner feeling of rootlessness. Maybe a suggestion of branches since my main focus was on the bark texture and knots. I’m also thinking of what lies ahead for my April page. An image of a heart inside of a house is starting to form in my mind.

Saturday Morning Tea

I think I mentioned this before but one of the experiences I love the most about springtime besides all of the colorful blooms, is the arrival of the first flush Darjeelings. This morning I am sipping a cup of Arya estate Aroma Darjeeling. The Arya tea garden is located in the Darjeeling district in northeast India. I wrote a little about its history in a former post. To me, its name even conjures up images of a fairytale kingdom high in the misty mountains.

I was so excited to find this intact large leaf in my cup. The color and quality of the leaf is outstanding. The amber colored liquor smells like delicate fruit and flowers and its taste fills my mouth with a slight hint of sweet bananas and other tropical fruits. A heavenly treat to start out the long holiday weekend.

Today I am attending my polymer clay guild meeting where I will try and get some work done on my March journal page. “Try” is the key word here as I will probably be visiting and sharing with my fellow guild members for the first few hours! A veritable gab fest, if you know what I mean. I’ll post a photo soon of the progress I make today on my page.

More Progress on my March Beaded Journal Page

Here’s a peek at the progress I’ve made on my March journal page. I enjoy creating the texture of the tree bark. As I bead each twist and turn, I contemplate all of the twists and turns I’ve taken in my life up to where I am right now. I think I will make some fringy roots that will hang free. As I’ve only been in my new home for 3 weeks, I’m not feeling especially rooted right now.