Creative Writing: Ordinary Tea

The tea kettle whistles, and I prepare my daily cup of tea without even thinking, like I have done hundreds of times before, just like brushing my teeth or turning the coffee on. Or even saying “I love you.”

Ordinary moment.

But as the cinnamon aroma fills the room tonight, it somehow catches my attention–like I need to realize something. Like there is a fog in my brain that must be lifted so that I can see what I need to see. 

“What is it, Lord?” 

I wrap my hands around the rough pottery feel of my terracotta cup and revel in the heat being transferred into my fingers. The night is falling early tonight, and the aroma of cinnamon hovers over me, calling me to discover that secret it holds, just out of my reach, and yet my soul strangely aches for it.  

“What is it, Lord?”

 

I bring the little cup to my lips and let the delightful cinnamon taste of my tea fill my mouth, like I have done hundreds of times before. Such an ordinary moment. Today, it tastes cozy, and comforting, and alive, and jumpy and smooth all at once. 

It tastes like a party in my mouth. 

Such an ordinary moment that feels like a celebration. Delightful. Holy even. 

And in that ordinary moment, the fog lifts and the secret emerges. 

I take another sip. I revel in the party in my mouth birthed in the ordinary. 

I revel in the extraordinary ordinary. 

Life has been ordinary these days. Just the ebb and flow of everyday life when you live in a community and share in the rhythm of your little town.

Days flooded with rain, welcomed by some, cursed by others. 

Extraordinary ordinary.

Days of alarm clocks, and laundry, and sorting out clothes too small or too big, and taking advantage of the nice weather to do some work around the house.

Painful nights crying with a friend when crying was all I could do; nights filled with the taste of barbecue, and laughter and sparklers and campfires so hot that making a smore without burning the marshmallow is a challenge; nights under the stars, in awe of the One Who names every one of them. 

Extraordinary ordinary.

Sourdough bread starter that comes to life and the crusty lovely taste of buttered bread hours later coupled with room temperature Camembert.

Miles and miles of forest walking, some alone and some with others, always under the watchful eye of deer, and ants, and woodpeckers and worms, always charmed by the majesty of creation.

Extraordinary ordinary.

A death, and the wrapping of oneself into the Word of God that we might not be swallowed up by the grief that comes and goes; the promise of a new life.

Dry, red wine shared with friends as the sun sets on the streets of our little town.

Extraordinary ordinary.

Tomatoes filled with warmth and cucumbers that crunch under your teeth.

Listening to a child describe what robotics is all about, and letting her teach you how to make perfect playdough circles. 

Extraordinary ordinary.

Cheering for first steps. Being sobered by last ones.

Burying a hope and it feels like your breath has died with it, yet finding the courage to breathe again, amazed at what grace looks like in those moments. 

Extraordinary ordinary.

Jokes and sarcasm that I still don’t get. 

Evenings spent watering flowers dying under the pressure of heat and watching them drink themselves to life again.

Ordinary. So ordinary.

Extraordinary. Cinnamon tea and all. 

 

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