In creating Zen moments, or pausing to honor the Zen within, I am often struck by the beauty and grandeur of simple things. This gunpowder tea for instance. It begins as little, pebbly lumps of dry leaves. So tightly furled as to be unrecognizable. Kind of like a soul that has been molded and shaped for too long.
When those lumps of leaves meet with hot water, something truly divine begins to happen. They unfurl. Splendidly. Gracefully. An ethereal dance with the meeting of nature and man (or woman in this case).:)
I always watch in awe, as the leaves begin to open, share their flavor with the water and begin the slow, spinning swirl to the bottom of the french press.
Those tiny, pebbly beginnings do not tell of the leaf shape inside, but it's there all the same, waiting for it's moment to share goodness with those that stop to partake, showing it's origins and the plant it came from. The process is one I cherish. Not only the awakening of the leaves and the idea of unfurling, but the straining process...
...which leaves behind an amber colored liquid, reflecting sunlight, hinting at warmth and comfort for the soul.
We add a bit of sweetness in the form of raw sugar. It swirls in it's own dance to the bottom of the cup, dissolving ever so slowly in the amber warmth.
Pause and reflect.
Cherishing simple things.
Warm the soul.