Morning Tea

Most mornings, our alarms go off simultaneously. Sometimes I hit snooze. Sometimes he rolls over for another ten minutes. One of us gets up and fills the kettle.

We have two pink chairs in the office that face the Southeastern side of our yard. These days the sun rises between two giant Norway spruce and casts long streaks of light on our freshly sown lawn of Kentucky bluegrass and some other mix of seed we thought was the same as the other bag.

Summer mornings are quietest during this stage of our lives. The children sleep. When the water kettle pops its distinctive click (it’s an electric kettle – no whistle), Brandon is usually the one to pour the water over waiting tea bags. We choose each other’s mugs carefully – these mugs mean something. When they’re ready, it’s a quick drip of honey in each cup and stir.

There was a time a decade or so ago when love was rougher, one or the other of us wouldn’t pour the other a cup. Aren’t you going to make me some tea? I think it was him who said it, maybe me – it doesn’t matter because we’ve both felt it – that sharp whip of need and neglect. When one of us is filled with hornets in the morning, we tease, aren’t you going to make me some tea?!

We meet in the office. I sit cross-legged on one pink chair. He sits in the other. The dog hears us settle in and her nails click on the hardwood floor to greet us. This is her favorite part of the day as well, when she gets to wake up for a minute and then fall back asleep in the cradle of my crossed legs.

This morning against the backdrop of our giant pin oak a hummingbird hovered and danced. Sometimes there are deer that wander through after bedding down in the woods behind our house. Other times a hawk, a whole chorus of birds, a scurry of squirrels.

These pink chairs were Brandon’s grandma’s chairs. They are particularly suitable for watching birds. We often catch cardinals in our framed view of the yard and say hello to Garnet, visiting us here so often. We sip our tea and watch the sun creep higher.

This is the perfect cup, my love.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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