Rites of Passage – Tea and Commencement

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Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon (New York, NY)

Rites mark our significant life events. They provide a clear signal for all observers that the familiar and comfortable season has reached its natural conclusion and another new season has begun.

Although subtle cues may preview a work-in-progress, rites officially proclaim major shifts: weddings, graduations, or someone’s first afternoon tea. Recently two brilliant young ladies and I shared tea at Union Square/Gramercy Park’s Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon to commemorate their respective milestones.

Bucket Lists and Final Requests

Diligently pursuing homemade chicken and dumplings and peach cobbler led to my discovering my name included on the college senior  bucket list. Shocked yet intrigued, I wanted to know how “having tea with Ms. Hamilton” merited such an honor. The expression bucket list, popularized by the same-titled movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, is a wish list of things someone would like to accomplish before dying, i.e. “kicking the bucket”. Thankfully, this list detailed their desired must-do items before graduating and departing New York City.

I consider my inclusion on this bucket list a singular honor simply because there’s quite a bit a college student can do in New York. These soon-to-be graduates chose to pause their senior thesis writing, wedding plans, and graduation preparations to receive the rite of afternoon tea. Truly, this tea clearly marked the end of a season.

Herbert Von King Park (Brooklyn, NY)

Time for New Beginnings

Spring is the season which unveils what fall planted and what winter covered. The weather shifts often as each element, e.g. rain, sun, and snow, attempts to navigate the essential seasonal changes. If we are wise, then we learn to appreciate every season for its own characteristics rather attempt to prolong a season which has passed.

Regardless the season, tea continues to smooth whatever turbulence we encounter in our lives. So, let’s drink tea and keep things in perspective. Enjoy the season because one day it too will pass. Cups up!

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