“Come in. Come in. It is so nice to see you, as always,” I said as I opened the door for you. A delightful unexpected guest in the middle of the day. In the middle of the week as well.
We walked to the patio facing the back garden. Well, I said, back garden, but it was really a lush valley at the back of a place I call home. Talk about an understatement of the year. Lucky me.
You stopped to embrace the view before you. To breathe. Beautiful. I suddenly wondered, and yes, I was right, this was your first time visiting me here.
You smiled. “So this is it, uh? Your hiding place?”
“Well, it’s not my hiding place. I care for the space, but it is really more everyone else’s hiding place. A place they go to when they want to disappear for a bit,” I winked.
“Let’s sit there, shall we? My favorite spot.” I pointed to a wooden bench under the shade, bordering the greens, with a small side table. “Can I get you something to drink or nibble?”
“I have heard tea here is good,” your time to wink.
“Ha, that would be a pleasure. Any kind in particular?”
“You tell me.”
“Right. Nibbles first then,” said I, trying diplomatically to buy some time to figure out what tea I would like to serve you.
We chattered away over grilled sweet potatoes, boiled peanuts, and some glasses of room-temperature water. You seemed to have forgotten your order of tea. I haven’t.
I sat there, mostly quiet and all smiling, listening to you. Allowing you to come into this space I have called home for many moons. You see, you need to really arrive here first before the place is informed of what tea your soul would prefer at this very moment.
Rightfully enough, the atmosphere was starting to be imbued by your presence—beautiful, rainbow-type, light, soft color. How gorgeous. I remember. I listened more attentively. To you and what was around you.
I started posing little questions, to what was around you, quietly. A request for Guidance. Black, green, herbal. Herbal. Flowery, fruity, or more traditional. Traditional. Warm or cool. Warm. Relaxing, rejuvenating, inspiring. Relaxing.
And suddenly ‘you’ took over. Something that you think reflects who I truly am. Or who you believe I am. A personality within me that I only share with the closest of friends. Ones that you would like me to express more. I need to be reminded of who I am. I want you to remind me of who I am. I want you to recognize me.
A dear friend. A beautiful soul.
*cough* — Uh, did the sweet potato not go down well? That was my cue.
“Ah, yes, of course. The tea.” I said. “Wait here for a bit.”
I went a way to the kitchenette. For just a moment or so. Then I returned to the bench, and you, with a tray of a pot of tea and two cups. One for you, and another for me.
You slide the small side table and put it in front of the bench. I put the tray there.
“Thanks”, as I sat back down, started to pour the tea, and hand you the cup.
“Here. Have a cup of fragrance of love.”
What do you remember?
Fragrance of love is a combination of various Indonesian original tea, chamomile, peppermint, orange peel, and lemongrass made by Bogor-based tea house @Laresolo.