March 17, 2019
By Arthur H. Gunther III
(also on Facebook)
(For St. Patrick’s Day)
There cannot be the Irish without tea. When the person holds a cup, it is the soul that comes to visit, both to nourish and to be nourished. Every sadness, every joy, every birth, every passing, every harvest, every leaving home of a once child, all that is before you, in reflection, in that cup of tea.
My own mother, of pure Irish out of Donegal and an English father from Hartlepool, never had a morning or an afternoon or an evening without her strong tea. During the world war, she gave up rationed sugar and saved on milk by using a canned condensed mix. But the tea she would not be without.
There are moments when you have tea. If you stir quickly, you might be nervous. If you sip with two hands on the cup, you may be enjoying your company. If you are a woman in love, you may leave a bit more lipstick on the edge.
Tea is that friend who never leaves, never ages, never talks back. It is the wisdom, the lessons, the sacrifices of generations there, in that cup. And the future, too.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. email@example.com
The posting about tea brought back memories of my grandparents from Russia who sipped their tea in a tall glass with a sugar cube held tightly between their front teeth and a tall spoon always in the glass.
What a fine memory, Howard. The old guys from Congregation Sons of Israel would ask for “a glass tea” at the Plaza. The tall spoon kept the glass from breaking.
I bet they asked for a “glazzle te” When I first moved to Spring Valley we were members of the Cong. Son’s of Israel on the “hill”. Joseph Solevechik was the rabbi. Sadly he soon slipped into dementia and the congregation relocated to Hillcrest.
Yes, I knew Rabbi Solovechik. He was a strong force in a multi-religious effort in SV, working with the Catholic and Dutch Reformed clergy in particular.