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Tea and Presence

August 18, 2010

A few years ago, my sister and I traveled to the northeast of India to Darjeeling in the Himalayan Mountains. It was an incredible experience for many reasons, including an escape from the August heat of the Rajasthani desert, a break from the exhausting tourism, and quality adventure time with Jewells. However, it was also a time of great rest, of merely and mostly being present. There was a particular morning that we spent, unplanned and uncharted, in a little cafe off the cliff of a mountainous road, and resting in that cafe, sipping hot darjeeling milk tea, all we were was present. We were not contemplating the rest of our lives. We were not thinking of what we had to do tomorrow and what we didn’t get done yesterday. We were taking a break from life to live. Each time I see that photo (below), it reminds me of the importance of that practice.

Darjeeling, India 2008

Returning to Virginia after so long of swimming in the wonderous river of stimulation that is New York City, I have had distinct moments of living in a kind of stillness of the present that remind me of this moment in Darjeeling, or of other poignant moments of rest, which in my case, have often happened abroad. There are long breaths of air here, hours of watching a storm come across the mountain, knowing that it will drench the ground soon. Amidst the struggle of saying goodbye to New York, I am thankful for this moment, or rather, season of rest and calm presence. No doubt it will not last forever, as all of you with children can most definitely attest to–nor I would desire that and strip them of their power, as they are the moments that punctuate life, for if they were life, would we be able to appreciate them at all?

After photos of teas, cappuccinos, and pastries around the world, here is my Virginia addition.

Homemade Blackberry Jam, Edinburg Virginia, 2010

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carly permalink
    August 18, 2010 8:19 pm

    beautiful

  2. Dad permalink
    August 21, 2010 12:16 pm

    I love hearing the contrasts you are experiencing. The best part for me is knowing that your new future is beginning with the great peace that the valley can give.

  3. Kathy Dill permalink
    September 19, 2010 9:41 pm

    Harrigan!!!
    I love reading your words and seeing your photos! They are beautiful!

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