Taking Tea with Irene – Tea and Comfort Zones


For those of us who have ever lived in the Southern United States or Texas, hurricanes are common. We know that there is a hurricane season where we closely track the patterns, discuss them by names in our elementary schools, and the vast majority of citizens know how to prepare for them and know how to clean up after the hurricane passes. Personally, I’ve lived in the following United States:

  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • Kentucky
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • Texas

The hurricanes I’ve previously experienced were quite different from Hurricane Irene. Irene was different because it occurred in unexpected places. The same could be said about the rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake in New York City. Earthquakes routinely occur on the West Coast, not the East. What is really going on? (If you have electricity and Internet, then please keep reading.)

Elements Which Sweep Us Off Our Feet

This past week’s Northeast weather provided some character-building exercises that some residents are still working through the after effects. Unfortunately, some people lost their lives and the families affected will begin a new chapter, regardless of the pen being delivered via an earthquake, a tropical storm, Hurricane Irene and some flooding. (It’s seems most unfair that we don’t name earthquakes and floods.)

It’s not that Atlantic region does not understand the concept of preparation. These states are masterful when it comes to ice storms, blizzards and mobilizing salt trucks because cold weather is common. However, the earthquake earlier in the week gave us collectively a dose of reality which refused to be ignored. The bottom line: have a plan for every emergency type.

Dancing in the Key of Life

This seems a great lesson to pour into our life’s cup: Expect the unexpected.

There is bound to be an unfamiliar tune, i.e. a life event, played which changes the entire tempo of what we know as our routine. When it happens, we each decide whether or not to learn the new step. Dancing is great mental and physical exercise. Since the music is playing, shall we dance?

What’s the tea connection? Tea smooths out the changes’ syncopation and takes out the staccato. Drinking tea is similar to putting down numbered foot prints on the floor to learn a new step. Tea reminds each of us where the ground is so we can get our steps together.

When we move into a waltz, tango, or other dance, we teach our minds and bodies to think and move in new ways. We stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zones. Once done, we then raise our tea cups in fond remembrance of what it took to master the step.We memorize the faces of our partners, the venues and the many other special details. Most of all, we celebrate having survived. Yes, that’s worth a sip or two. Cups up!


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