Hello Tea Friends,
I hope this long over due post finds you well. It has been quite a while since I shared a tea post with you, but unfortunately life circumstances have been overwhelming and quite continuous. During times like this, you can start to question what is going on and why. If you're not careful, it's easy to fall into your own little "pity party". Today I would like to share a tea story with you. I hope it will encourage those of you who may be struggling with difficult life circumstances.
Sometimes when you just can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel, something special happens to bring you some relief. Late last fall, I was given the opportunity to travel to Japan with The Specialty Tea Institute. With everything around me in turmoil, I decided it would be very therapeutic for me to take a much needed time out to regroup. Yes, I was heading to Japan.
Right before I was about to leave, my knee mysteriously gave out. I literally couldn't walk. I immediately raced to the knee doctor. With the exception of a little swelling, my knee looked fine. I was given a cortisone shot and told to travel safely. Well, after arriving in Japan, my knee wasn't getting better. In fact, it had increasingly gotten worse. Yes, I was in Japan with an injured leg.
On one particular day, a small group of us were scheduled to travel to a tea farm up in the mountains of Shizuoka. As I was trying to prepare myself for the journey, I came to the conclusion I didn't have the strength to make the tea journey. My knee was was throbbing and I honestly felt defeated. How would I be able to walk, let alone climb a mountain? Yes, I was a complete mess, but as I stopped and began to pray, I found strength during my weakest moment. I felt lead to get my act together and just show up! It didn't matter how swollen my knee looked or how overwhelmed I felt, I had to press my way through the circumstances and let faith arise!
The ride up to the tea farm was breathtaking, even as it began to rain. I thought to myself, "Yes, I showed up and it's already paying off.", but in the back of my mind, I was still wondering how I would get to the top of the mountain when we arrived at the tea farm.
We arrived at the farm and parked the bus. As I limped off the bus, to my surprise, I was advised the farmers had arranged for a truck to drive me up the mountain. Our tour guide had alerted them in advance about my knee. I was truly blown away by their act of kindness. I said to myself, "Yes, God has sent a silver chariot just for me! All I had to do was show up!".
When my chariot reach the top of the mountain, the view was heavenly! Yes, I began to cry. It was a real eye opening moment for me. Yes, I had seen other tea fields before, but this was special. I had made a decision to press through my circumstances. Limping by faith, I showed up without having any idea how things would work out. Because I didn't give up, I got the opportunity to view some of the most amazing master pieces on heavenly canvas.
I will tell you my trip to Japan was crafted with many more unexpected acts of kindness. In some ways, these kind deeds felt like medicine for the soul, which is how I look at tea. It holds a special beauty and power which makes everything seem fine, even when it's not.
When I returned from Japan, it was confirmed by a MRI that I had a bad tear in my knee. The recovery has been hard, but I continue to press through. Life has continued to throw some heavy punches, but as I learned in Japan, just show up, pray for the best, walk by faith and drink tea regardless.........