It is absolutely and decidedly fall here in Massachusetts. I feel that blast of cold air as I open the front door each morning as the kids head off to school. It always catches me off guard, but then I drink it in as if my body has been thirsting for that crispness. The skies are impossibly blue and the leaves surprise us with their colors as they drift across the lawn.
This morning I am up before the sun, the entire yard is only shadows and darkness. But then, just over the tree line, a golden glow begins to creep, chasing away the dark, eating it for breakfast. Now, the trees stand as inky silhouettes against it and the remnants of yesterday’s playtime begin to take shape in the yard — a ball not put away, the kids’ chairs, a frisbee. It is this moment that is my favorite tea.
It is quiet. One child reads quietly in his room, always up at dawn, sneaking in extra words before the rest of life intrudes. The other two sleep peacefully, trading sighs and warm breaths. It is not yet time to be up for school or work. This is when I choose to write.
It is the only time of day that I wish I could hurry the steeping process. I want the tea instantly, immediately. I don’t want to eat up a moment of this precious time with preparation. This is the time I should be sipping, before that sun moves too quickly, before those quiet sleeping sighs become stirring and wakefulness. I want to feel that deep warmth of the first sip taking off the morning chill, giving me calm before the flurry of choosing clothes, packing lunches, finding library books.
I want to bottle this moment, keep it with me always. Soon the winter will arrive and the mornings will feel desolate and viciously cold to me. I will soon gaze out this window to blankets of stark snow and ice, knowing that that first morning blast will chill me to the bone and that our playground days will have to wait. But for now, it is magically, beautifully, magnificently fall. And I sip my tea.