Afternoon Tea

Every morning, I brew a dainty cup of tea to help me meditate, setting the mood for the day’s dose of prose-making; every night, I sip another cup, calming my mind and body for peaceful slumber. Tea punctuates the rhythm of my daily life, enhancing its tone, brightening its mood.

I live this way merely based on our ancient belief that one must depend only on seven earthly elements for simple living and no more: wood, rice, oil, salt, soy-sauce, vinegar and tea. But to mind one’s soul, six extra earthly things one must be endowed with: music, chess, prose, painting, poetry and wine.

This I abide by meekly and faithfully.

Little wonder I can’t start a day’s work without that steaming cup of soulfulness; and can’t fall asleep without that cup of serenity.

Tea hence is my little deity and my little tyrant; my master and my servant all at the same time.

-Da Chen

Author of My Last Empress

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