so seemingly small,
to the whole universe
as tiny whispers
like the sounds
of butterfly wings,
and the clear voice
of the living truth.
Sweet and spicy ingredients warm us on lingering cool spring days that seem to never end. This is the time of year when we all get a little stir crazy for summer to start. The warming spices and the warmth of the tea are a calming balm for any time we need a lift.
Honeybush is a favorite tea of ours: Mountain Rose Herbs (where we buy honeybush tea, and all of our spices and herbs) describes the tea as having "a wonderful bouquet of berries, roses, and honey". It also contains Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and has no caffeine.
Ingredients (makes 4 cups):
4 cups pure water
1 tablespoon honeybush tea
6-8 star anise pods
1 tablespoon cinnamon chips (or 1 teaspoon powdered)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods (or 1/8 teaspoon powdered)
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon honey per cup
1 date per cup
Put water into kettle. Heat to almost boiling—but do not boil. The flavor is better if it doesn't boil.
Put spices into teapot.
Pour water into teapot and let steep for 10 minutes.
While tea is steeping, make milk.
Ingredients for almond-date milk: Makes 2 cups
2 cups pure water
1/4 cup almonds
Blend almonds in blender or Vitamix to powdery consistency.
Add water and dates and blend on highest speed for 60 seconds.
Strain through nut milk bag or strainer.
Store unused milk in the fridge for up to three days.
Pour tea into cup. Top off with almond milk. Add honey. Drop a date into cup, and eat with a spoon after it gets soft and yummy! (The date skin separates after a few minutes, and you might wish to remove it.) Simply delicious!
The Little Story: Lifting the Spirits
What lifts my spirits when I feel a little bit down? The tea as mentioned above, doing a spiritual exercise, and being of service, which takes attention off myself. Some other practices include phoning a loved one, taking a bath or nap, making a meal, going for a walk, writing, painting, or doing yoga.
An element of lifting the spirits for me is accepting the state that my mind and emotions are in—not fighting them. Acceptance allows for wiggle room—the energy has to have a way to go some place. If I really feel what it is I'm experiencing, and then do my best to let it go (or shift into neutrality or the heart center) the situation can move. If I hold on and dwell on it, the condition only grows—and stays.
So as I'm writing this week's Healing Feast, feeling a little low because it's raining and I miss my family—my Mother's one year memorial was last Sunday—I'm sipping honeybush chai tea with almond milk, feeling its soothing strength, and relishing the date that comes as such a tasty surprise at the bottom of the cup.
The tea and the date remind me that life is truly sweet and good and filled with unexpected delights of nourishment, beauty, and love.