Mindful Living

The Afternoon Tea Break

Time moves slowly in Autumn. One of the season’s sweetest gifts is the whispered hush upon our days, a gentle encouragement to practice stillness. I am grateful for the prompting to reserve a few peaceful moments. Oftentimes, I have found  it is the smallest of things which are best in accomplishing this serene pause. And for many years, my favorite has been enjoying a cup of tea.

The French call it le pause de thé – the tea break. An intentional interruption. Promptly at four-thirty o’clock each day, our mother lovingly taught us to set aside our time. We learned the value of being in one another’s company, listening to the whistling tea kettle and the sound of her voice reading aloud. Now, though it is not always spent together, tea time is still daily observed by each of us.

There is a restful calm that is innately brewed in every cup.  Through the hours I look forward to the midday pause; savoring a few moments to delight in the simple joy of reflection. It is necessary to be purposeful in the middle of our goings on. We need these foundations of consistency and quiet amidst our busyness. There’s an anchoring, comforting, faithfulness to be found in the occasions when we remember the good and gracious blessings in our lives.

Whether you are working 9 to 5 in an office, studying diligently for college exams, or tirelessly caring for a household, we invite you to pour yourself a cup of tea. In the time it takes to boil a kettle, all the everyday busyness is suddenly brought to a standstill. Although time may not cease ticking, those few moments are yours and mine for whatever we would like them to be.

Choose to be still, truly and daily rested and happy. The afternoon tea break is fitting as much for solitude as it is for companionship. Somehow one is never lonely while drinking a cup of tea. In some way each day, enjoy the gift of le pause de thé, a delightful interlude preserved between the pages of your story.

“The proper, wise balancing of one’s whole life may depend
upon the feasibility of a cup of tea at an unusual hour.”
Arnold Bennett

 photograph by Tamara Black.

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  • Reply Abigail C October 2, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Remembering to pause is a hugely important thing, and perhaps why the tea ritual is so important in so many places.

    • Reply Lauren Black October 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Oh, Abigail, we love that thought! The history of tea drinking is so fascinating, and it really has become a well-respected custom in so many cultures. More than the tea itself, the concept of being quiet, and sharing time with others in stillness seems to be the primary purpose. We are looking forward to hopefully delving into this topic more. Tamara and I both really enjoyed reading your post on The Raven’s Landing about coffee brewing methods as well!

  • Reply Kira G. October 3, 2015 at 12:51 am

    What a beautiful post! While I have yet to find a tea I actually like, I love the idea of finding the restful calm. Perhaps I can replace tea with delicious coffee… :-)

    • Reply Lauren Black October 6, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Kira! We are so glad you stopped by and were encouraged to find restful calm. Enjoying coffee is an art all it’s own, one definitely equally well suited for moments of quiet. As to tea, Twinings’ French Vanilla Chai is my favorite. If you’ve not yet tried it, that would be the one I’d suggest. Or perhaps Harney & Son’s Holiday tea.

  • Reply cheyenne landry October 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you for that thought, because it is so true. We are all given the exact same amount of time in a day, but don’t you think God smiles when we pause for a few minutes just to be still? I do. In fact, I think that’s why he invented tea. Besides, just reading that made me smile!

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