I drink a lot of tea. I drink tea from the largest mugs we have, more like baby beer steins than mugs. Gray, with brown and blue stripes, and handles large enough to keep my knuckles from pressing against the hot surface.

I have a wonderful small cast iron teapot that I used to use for masala chai. Then I discovered that I really can’t handle the caffeine in black tea. I could switch to decaf, I suppose, or I could put some other looseleaf tea in it, but I don’t. For me, the pot exists to hold just one kind of tea. Hope, it also holds my hope, funny as it sounds, that someday I’ll be the sort of person who can drink caffeinated chai without ending up in a panic.

Instead, I drink peppermint tea. I drink jasmine. I drink decaf black tea, with honey and milk, which is nothing like masala chai, and not really even much like something I enjoy, but I pretend because it makes me feel like a grownup. Sometimes I drink ginger tea, made with grated ginger root.

I drink tea because I enjoy it, but also because of the ritual. Slow down, it says. Be here for a moment. Mug, water, tea, honey, spoon. Nothing more is necessary.

I’m leaving comments because I’d love to hear about necessary rituals, writing or otherwise.


  1. I really enjoyed your story in The Sun this month. And I was encouraged by your bio note. I, too, aspire to be able to balance mothering/homeschooling with writing so it was nice to see someone doing it! Thanks.

    • Lauren, it’s good to hear you enjoyed the story. I go back and forth about whether to include the homeschooling bit in my bio–it feels so personal, and yet it’s the focus of the majority of my time. I’m glad it felt affirming to you. It’s definitely possible!

  2. am inspired ! thank you…
    uh balancing ‘ motherhood and everythn..” 🙂

    • Honestly, I took a very long hiatus from writing and only began again after I had children. Not when they were babies, though. I needed more sleep then. 🙂

      • thank you for replying 🙂 Mine are 18, 12 and 11… its dizzy but sweet. I write like a cross eyed dragon, but its fun when you dont take life too seriously… Love your work…

        • Mine are twelve and nine, and luckily are very close, which makes things simpler. The bottom line is that I’m a nicer person and a better mom when I write, so everyone humors me. 🙂

          • 12 and 9…Uh oh, I ‘ve no excuse now 🙂
            I worked at broadcast, took time off ( kids) tried freelance a while, fell ill a bit, shifted cities, kicking in now and then I read something like you on Sun Magazine and jealousy hits me between the eye. :)))

          • I had fifteen years off, and it wasn’t until my oldest was nine that I woke up and realized I had something to say. I like to think that sometimes writing requires a very long gestation period.

            Have you read the New Yorker article on late bloomers? It’s one of my favorites.

          • Glad you just said that, ‘ 15 years off..that sometimes a long gestation… deep sigh, cuz thats what I know but do not say out loud. Felt guilty a bit , to stare at people and thoughts and skies….
            like one is watching these seasons, savouring, being transformed. I used to have strong opinions about things. Now am more an observer… a traveller. Used to be so so rooted in one place. Now, with all the stuff that happened in this one life time, got to admire the detail. Began painting …

  3. Exactly. Life is so much better when we are able to look at the journey of it, rather than focus on the places we should have gone. I think the two things that made it possible for me to start writing again were deciding that to write without any thought of sharing it, and finally being willing to say what I had to say.

    Everything else in the world goes through seasons, transformations, Why shouldn’t we? 🙂

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