From time to time, certain things from my childhood come together to create a catalyst of memories that overwhelm the present, forging a seamless bond between then and now. One such catalyst is Russian tea and the chill of fall weather.
When I was little, snuggled in the single-wide trailer that we called home, my mother would usher the fall season in with steaming mugs of Russian tea. She and I were the only ones in our family that liked the gland-puckering flavor of this fall favorite, but we looked forward to it with great anticipation. Even now, just the spicy scent of Russian tea can transport me back to that cozy living room high in the mountains, and flood me with warm memories of the love and family of childhood.
Russian tea has become a fall tradition in my household as well. My children look forward to it as I did as a child and often share an afternoon mug with me on particularly blustery fall days. We'll gather in the living room with the fire crackling on the hearth and read a chapter or two of our current read-aloud book, hands encircling warm mugs of liquid memories.
Not only does Russian tea remind me of my childhood, it also remind me of the ties that bind. I think of my cozy childhood, safe and protected in my parents home, but I also think of the extended family that enjoyed the sweet hospitality and fellowship offered by my parents in their humble abode. I think of my aunts and uncles, my cousins and grandparents. I remember my aunts, fingers entwined around thick mugs of tea, laughing with my mom around our kitchen table, as my dad and the uncles engaged in one quirky adventure after another. I remember the cousins playing board games on the floor in front of the wood stove after coming in from exploring the vast wilderness in sub zero weather. Russian tea in the fall brings with it all of the shared history of a lifetime of family.
|For the Aunts|
These truly are the ties that bind.