Drink the Special Tea

I’m going through everything I own, preparing to fit back into Elereen—my Honda Element—asking if I want to bring each item forward into my next life season. I used to experience this more often, the going through things and packing, about once every six months or year.

Since 2006, this has been my longest amount of time (2.5 years) living in the same place.

“The place” since April 2021 has been shared government housing for seasonal employees, so the house is furnished. After so much time with short-term housing or tent-ing, I reveled in having a house and got items I couldn’t have before: a typewriter, a keyboard, a toaster oven.

Those were the first items in my donate pile as I began going through everything a last week.

The act of going through all my material possessions always illuminates helpful information, like I had that book when I moved into this house, and I still haven’t read it. Donate.

Another phenomenon that comes to light while packing—whether I’ve been living out of two suitcases, a backpack, or an SUV—is that I discover I’ve held on to something consumable, but haven’t used it because it seemed too precious.

I’ve become more aware of this over the years, consciously choosing to light the candles, burn the incense, send the stationary. Take pleasure now. Trust the abundance.

And still I’m finding precious unused things as I pack this time around:

Moroccan loose leaf tea that a friend mailed me in 2020. She said it was one of her favorite teas, very special and rare in her family’s traditions. So I wasn’t going to just drink it. I was going to save it for a ceremony, some special occasion. And here it still is.

Big sheets of handmade paper from Tibet. The manager of a Buddhist retreat center had gifted them to me during my six-month stay there, before moving here. I made a six-envelope folder early on, and use it often since that’s where I keep stamps. Yet as I sit here, three weeks before going back to that same retreat center, I still have a full black sheet, half blue, and a quarter beige of this Special Paper.

It happens, dear one. No sweat.

Now that I’ve noticed, I get to choose what to do with this information.

And so, this morning, I’m brewing pots of that Special Tea I received over three years ago and drinking it with presence, noticing the subtle changes in color and taste.

I’m folding a different type of folder with the Special Paper, because making things with paper lights up my soul.

To you, reading these words wherever you are, I encourage you: Drink the Special Tea, use your Special Paper, read the book or pass it along.

Bask in the joys — because today we are breathing, today we are feeling, today we are.

And isn’t life worth the most delightful celebrations?