This is a small jar of fragrant black tea.
About a year and a half ago, a very dear friend and I went to Oxford together - we had both lived there in our early twenties (we were actually there at the same time without knowing it!) in study abroad programs, and for both of us, it was an incredibly formative time. Our trip together was a time to walk, talk, listen, share - but as my friend so aptly put it, "show each other our Oxfords." I took my friend to one of my favorite tea houses (The Rose on High Street), and just before we left, she bought me this small glass jar of tea to take home with me.
She knows that "my Oxford" is more than a town/gown affair; it was when I started writing regularly, from and in the deeps, and where dreams began, dreams not reached these seventeen years later.
I keep my canister of tea on my bookshelf next to books that are in the world of ideas I'm thinking about, books in the world of ideas I'm getting ready to write about. In this way, the fragrance of the tea is the world of ideas - the great gift it is to enter this world, and think, and write, and dream.
But dreams are difficult to carry, and it's wise to learn (and re-learn) how to adapt, modify, extend, and deepen them, or perhaps for a season, or longer, let them go. The fragrance of the tea is also the fragrance of being seen, held, known, loved, and encouraged. Thank you, my friend.