My best childhood memories are simple ones, like my mom greeting me every day after school with a mildly rhetorical question, “shall I put the kettle on?” It was an inquiry that was posed to me every day when I arrived home from school, and my answer was always “yes please.”
My mom was of British descent so tea was routine in our house and it was made properly. The ceramic pot was warmed, two bags were added, rapidly boiled water was poured in, a tea cozy was nestled on top, and a timer was set for five minutes of steeping. Tea was always served with milk and cookies.
When the tea was ready we’d sit together chatting while we warmed our hands on our mugs. I’d tell mom about my day and relish her expressions of joy or sympathy. We’d quietly ponder our lives while recharging our energies for homework and dinner making.
I often think about this ritual with fondness. I relish the small details like my favourite mug. Our tea mugs were a perfect size and shape for their function. They had the right thickness and comfortable holding handles, and their patterns were pleasing to the eyes.
Mugs are simple, practical vessels designed for daily use and yet an ideal one made me so happy. A good mug is a true simple pleasure.
My mom has since passed away, and those mugs are long gone, but the memory still gives me so much comfort and joy. Right now, during these very strange times, I’m reminding myself to treasure the small things, like a beautiful tea mug, because as it turns out, in the long run, they matter a lot.
XO Suzanne Zacharias
Co-Founder & Head Tea Drinker, Cedar Mountain Studios