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.”
photograph by Tamara Black.