For two

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.

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20 thoughts on “For two

  1. Sue Ball says:

    Beautiful, Jenn. Just the words I needed to read today.

  2. angela says:

    Hi, I found you blog via expat traveler and I must say this is a beautiful post. I love how you connect tea with life (it is a big part of my life too), that you’ve noticed something and applied to your situation. Very lovely!

  3. jenn says:

    lovely 🙂 happy jumping

  4. Marion says:

    As always, nail right on the head. It is so true – head first into the bubbles, fearless if you can or just holding fear in if you can’t, is only way to realise new future, might not be better but you won’t know until you surface from the dive and the toes in to test approach only works with the North Sea. Love you, miss you, adore you.

  5. Goofball says:

    yes you must jump

    I did so in Leuven by getting involved in way too many organisations but now after 3 years I can’t even remember what it was like not knowing anybody in the neighbourhood here.

    enjoy your tea

  6. Have I told you how much I miss having tea with you? 😦

  7. Crystal says:

    Goodness, you do know how to write. 🙂 Beautiful post.

  8. Goofball says:


    did you forget your wordpress login?

  9. Goofball says:

    gelukkige verjaardag

  10. Mark says:

    Wonderfully written Jenn. You certainly have a gift for capturing and then conveying a feeling. Your theme is one that I’ve heard from a number of people this year and it’s universal. Either being in a new place or breaking out of a rut to establish a better life; it’s the same: Engage in life and trust that it’ll be OK.

    • mojenn says:

      Thank you, Mark. I appreciated this comment when first you wrote it. Thought I should acknowledge that gratitude.

  11. AceKingHigh says:

    nice blog. do visit mine sometime and maybe we can do a link exchange!

  12. Louisette says:

    Mooie blog, fyne avond, groetejes uit Belgie

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