Last night you wanted to have some tea.
I came outside to find you on the deck, gathering all the necessary materials for tea time. The kettle, tea bags, mugs. It had rained heavily a few days ago and it could still be felt it in the air. It was humid and everything was damp. You told me you wanted to heat up the kettle over a fire, you said you liked doing things the slow way. And so I watched you try to light a fire so we could have some tea. You tried for a while, calming attempting to get some sparks to ignite. You tried until we realized that all the sticks were far too wet to light. I got up out of my chair, figuring that we would go inside now and put the kettle on the stove, have our tea within minutes. But you didn’t get up. You simply looked at me and said, “We’ll try something else.” And we did.
We carried over a big log and sat it on the ground in front of us. We used knives to make thin shavings from the bark of the log, revealing the soft wood beneath. It felt almost as smooth as your skin. We gathered different sized pieces of wood, small, thick, thin, but still nothing would light. I sat back down in my chair, defeated.
But not you. You persisted. You never broke your patience. You never gave in. You tried and tried until finally, it sparked. It was a small, tiny fire at first. You carefully added more kindling, created just the right amount of wind, and gave it a little faith. A few moments later the fire was blazing hot enough to dry up all the damp wood. We had our tea within minutes.
Watching you care, ever so tenderly, for the fire that just wouldn’t light was an experience I could never replace. It illustrated so perfectly the person that you are; the heart that is inside of you. You never gave up on the fire. You gave it your unconditional love and support, and it bloomed into a gorgeous flame, burning hot enough to boil water. You’re like that with people too, whether you realize it or not. You give everyone you meet a fighting chance to be the best version of themselves. You give hope to those who seem hopeless, and you give love to those who think they don’t deserve it. You appreciate the beauty of the slow way.
Last night you showed me how to love by the way you made us tea.