The kettle is whistling on the stove, making its plaintive cry of boiling-boiling-the-water-is-boiling, as the steam races from the spout. I love that sound. For me, it’s the reflective recall of dozens of lovely tea memories. As a child, in a non-tea drinking household, the whole concept of tea was a bit foreign, though I did my best alongside my sisters and friends to affect a proper tea party with our miniature dishes and stuffed animal party guests. I discovered tea as a drink proper when I reached my teen years and began sipping herbal concoctions and felt altogether sophisticated for doing so. In my early adult years I was lovingly chided about my lazy-tea preparations, and then instructed in the proper way to brew, prepare and enjoy a cuppa by a Londoner lost in the desert southwest. I do love tea, even when I’ve lapsed to the lazy microwave-warmed-water-teabag-in-a-cup preparations.
When we arrived here to this midwest home last summer and did our shopping for the essentials we needed whilst waiting for our shipment to arrive from The Netherlands, I bought a kettle. It is a cherry red, metal, stove-top kettle with a handle and spout. It’s my favorite kitchen appliance. As it whistles today, I watch the steam rise and listen to the song it sings, and I see the metaphor of my morning tea. As the water pours over the teabag today it occurs me that in order to make it work you have to jump right into the hot water. Jumping in headlong allows something to be released; then something wholly new presents.
I’ve struggled lately with my feelings of displacement, homesickness, and the touch of lonely I feel here. I understand intellectually and conceptually just what it takes to move and settle into life in a new place. We’ve done this before, we’re simply doing it again. But as I watch the steam rise gently off my cup as I write it’s suddenly very clear to me: the time has arrived. It’s time to jump in, release the fear, find the new and drink it in.
Time to share a cuppa with a local friend.