When I don’t know what to write, I make tea. When I do know and I just need to stay awake long enough, I make coffee. Coffee is fuel. But tea is about reflection.
When I make coffee, I count the ingredients into the coffeemaker. I flip a switch and head back to the computer. The coffee brews. I run up, fill my cup, and sit back down.
Making tea takes involvement. There are steps along the way. I start the water toward boiling. I listen for the whistle. I choose a cup, pour a bit of hot water in, pour it out. I put the teabag in. I get the sugar canister, add a bit to the cup, put the canister away. I pour the water into the cup, on top of the tea bag, making sure the water also stirs the sugar in. I bring the cup back down here, and write a bit. Then I take the bag out, put it on the little saucer Hope brought back from Oxford.
There is an attentiveness to making tea that I don’t have with coffee, though I like them both.
[pause to remove the tea bag and consider the next part of the metaphor, since you know that’s what this must be.]
I want the Bible to give me answers. I want to dump in some water and some grounds and push a button and get happiness. A verse a day to a better life. It’s almost always more complicated than that.
It turns out that the best understanding comes when I read a bit and let it start to simmer. I add a bit of my life to the cup and pour the hot water in and let it brew.
It takes ongoing intention for tea. And life.