A piece of my grandmother’s china broke today. “I’m so sorry” my son said as he stood wide-eyed waiting for my reaction. There was a time not too long ago when I would have been furious. The china set is one of the few valuable things left to me by her. I remember how it sparkled and gleamed at me in her cabinet when I was not much older than my son is now. If I stood at just the right angle, I could see my reflection in the white gold trim on the edge of the plates. I picked up the broken shards collecting them in a box.
“Are you hurt?” I asked calmly as I took him in my arms hugging him to me. He shook his head ‘no’ as tears began to fall down both our faces. The china was out for his friends, a group of boys coming over for a play date. I was surprised by his request to use it and even more surprised when I heard myself say yes. A group of boys having a gentlemen’s tea. As his guest gather around the table, my son, the host, proudly tells his friends they are using his great grandmother’s china, someone whom he’s only met in pictures until this moment of connection through cups and saucers. This china my grandmother saved for a special occasion that never came during her lifetime. This china with memories of my mother using it only on holidays. This china now holds the memory of four young gentlemen snacking on goat’s milk cheese and stone ground wheat crackers, slices of pumpkin chocolate chip tea cake and blueberry herbal tea. This china now serves as a reminder that even an ordinary day can be a special occasion.
There is a kindness in this that melts my heart releasing long forgotten stories of my grandmother and my mother both smiling at me from beyond. Maybe when I have joined them and this little gentleman is grown and gone out into the world, he’ll remember a time when he had a gentlemen’s tea party as he takes his great grandmother’s china out of the cupboard to make a cup of tea.
|Dionne Ruff Sloan is the tea priestess of Goddess Tea House an online Goddess ministry offering resources and classes to guide, support and connect women on their path of self discovery.|