Ireland….where the love affair with tea began

Ireland is where my love of tea began.  I was never much of a tea drinker until Ireland.  I lived in Cork when I was 23 and attended UCC, the university in the city centre. I was young and excited to be away from home for the first time.  I attended college in Boston and lived at home. I joke that I fit in the things that college kids tend to indulge in all in those four months in Ireland:)   Let’s just say that health and wellness was not on my mind at the time.  But a love of Ireland set in just the same.  I have returned a total of five times since, including a 10 day solo trip just before making this change in my life.  At that time in my life I was used to the fast paced life of the East Coast and hadn’t experienced anything but that.  I remember being confused with the break we had in our morning class for tea. We all broke and went to the cafe for tea time.  Hmm interesting. I also remember back then asking for tea to go one time.  A shop keeper said “take away tea?  No darling just sit down I will bring you over a pot.”  Again, interestng.  I quickly learned that tea there was as much a part of the culture as the pub.  And they take their tea as seriously as they do pulling a pint of Guinness.  I learned that complimenting a B&B owner on her tea and scones was of the polite thing to do.  You may do nothing but put a Barry’s tea bag in a cup and pour water over it but telling her it was a good cup of tea made her smile with delight.  Back in my 20’s my new love of tea definitely meant being over caffeinated most of the time!  So when I came home I definitely cut down.  But sharing a pot or even a cup of tea with friends remained until this day.  So much so that over the years since living abroad I accumulated a rather large collection of tea accouterment furnished by my lovely family and friends.  Tea cups, saucers, pots and various tea accessories.  Two years ago I walked into my dining room to realize that it had been decorated all these years by an elderly English woman.  She was lovely, but she needed to go (no offense to you all if you are reading but the collection had grown rather large:)  The elderly woman moved out and parts of the collection were donated or sold.

I was recently in Ireland as you can see from the lovely picture above which is from Bewley’s in Dublin’s city centre. I just couldn’t wait to
get to this lovely tea shop for a pot of tea and scone.   There are places and people that touch my soul and both have been in Ireland.  I
still, after all these years, remain friends with an American who was one of my flat mates in Ireland.  Having this special person still in my life keeps those memories alive.  Ireland is known for it’s people, land, mysticism and yes it’s drink.  While I have had some crazy fun times in Ireland, to focus on the pub culture minimizes the depth of the countries soul
I tell you of my love affair, both to lend history to my connection to tea, but also to share a way in which I have been able to access a window into my own soul.  My last trip to the country was through a recommendation of a trusted friend and guide.  I thought “Oh I’ve been there, done that.”  But no one could have helped me realize that I would find out how much joy was trapped within me that the country would release.  My wish for all you is that you have ways, people or places, that help us come into that place of utter peace and joy.  I am beginning

to find many as I give myself the space and freedom.

Cheers!

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