I love the low, muted clatter of a teacup on a saucer as I hold it in my hand, trying to keep it steady. This morning I pulled down my only teacup and my only saucer to make myself some Earl Grey tea. I don’t use the teacup on a regular basis. Actually, until July, it was packed away in the box it came in – a gift box that I received over three years ago on my 30th birthday. Until today, it has never been used.
The teacup is absolutely beautiful to me. I have never been one for girly designs or dainty and delicate things. I don’t like flowered patterns or china. But one fateful day, when I was living in Nashville, something happened to me that changed the way I felt about teacups, at least.
A Saturday lunch date with a dear friend of mine, L took a turn for the divine. We decided that, rather than just go for any lunch, we should go to the Savannah Tea Company for a full tea. I have never had a tea of any kind, other than a cup of tea, so I had no idea what to expect.
It was wonderful. Scones, clotted cream, jam, finger sandwiches, soup… and it was all presented with such care. Everything was lovely, down to the shape of each finger sandwich. Eating made me feel like I was participating in an art project. Every bite was magical. Every sip of tea was smooth and golden.
And my teacup. Oh dear. My teacup. It made me swoon. I loved the intricacy of the pattern. The color. The shape. Honestly, I thought that if there was ever a perfect teacup made, then I was holding it, drinking from it, and admiring it.
And I can’t even talk about the creamer.
My dear friend L, noticing my enthrallment, returned to the Savannah Tea Company after our tea and bought me the cup and the creamer for my 30th birthday.
And this morning I decided that I had looked at the teacup I have had on display since July one day too many. Life is short, my friends. I want to use the beautiful things I have, not simply look at them. I want to pull down my beautiful teacup and feel the happiness I felt on that enchanting day at the Savannah Tea Company in Nashville. I want to remember the way my eyes welled with tears when I opened the gift from my dear friend, L on my 30th birthday.
I want to remind myself, even on this small scale, what it is like to be overcome by beauty, overwhelmed by the intricacies of life, and overjoyed at being known well.