Brian’s Reflection: Friday, April 15, 2011
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the
hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
Henry James, author, philosopher; he was born on this
Here is a very “complicated “ man. And a beautifully uncomplicated thought.
I’ve had “Afternoon Tea” in a LOT of places. In the convents of the Sisters of the Church in Ham Common, England, and in the beautifully austere refectory of the Sister of the Love of God in Fairacres. In one we talked, quietly; in the other, we were silent. It was “heavenly”. In rectories all over the Caribbean, in England, Scotland, Wales, and in peoples’ homes ~ great tea, and great sandwiches, and great “sweets”. In a great Tea Shop in the West Village in NYC ~ homey and elegant in a “down home” sort of way. In a Scottish castle, with the best of china and silver ….. and liquors afterwards! At a Japanese tea-house – with a formality and a sense of respect for people that was deeply healing. And, as a boy, at my aunts and grandmother’s, informally, and at Scottish friends.
Afternoon Tea is secular version of the Holy Eucharist. Participants are One, they are part of the “family”.
We need more such occasions. We need to be reminded that we Belong.
I really hope - speaking metaphorically - that “in Heaven”, Afternoon Tea is served promptly at 4pm, with the angels serving, and Blessed Mary “pouring” from hallmarked Sterling.
But more: I would like to have many more such events - however simple - among us here on the Earth.