Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Ever since I was first laid low with the flu two weeks ago, I've been wrestling with a vexing problem: I lose my voice first thing every morning and again just before tuck-in, and I end up sounding like a dying amphibian when I try to speak.
It's hugely amusing to our kids but somewhat distressing to me. Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal. But when I need to speak that day - or worse, speak on the radio - it kinds freaks me out that I sound like Phyllis Diller after she's stuffed 125 cigarettes simultaneously into her mouth before lighting them en masse.
This past Friday, I awoke with the now-traditional non-voice. Problem was I had an interview scheduled for that morning. I nursed a giant mug of tea until the moment my cell phone rang, and ended up sounding more or less human when I spoke to the reporter.
Which reminded me how much comfort I've been deriving from tea since I first got sick last month. I've been spending a lot of time enjoying the genteel benefits of boiling water and letting it steep in a lovely old pot on the kitchen table. Just watching the wisps of steam is often enough to set everything right with the world no matter how busy life might be at that moment. And if I have to leave the house, the warmth of a mug through my fingers helps lower my blood pressure as well.
This image takes me right there, even if I'm nowhere near a kettle. I never thought condensation and color could be so fascinating.
Your turn: Tea is all about ritual. What other rituals do you engage in to slow the rest of the planet down?