I sent out invitations to a circle of Good Divas I know inviting them to join me for Sunday tea.  I hit send before I  could stop and think too much, because I’m not really much of a Sunday person.  After some 16 years of working on the Sabbath, I’m still needing sabbatical under the covers, and most weeks, that’s my preferred posture.  But I knew that the 9/11 coverage would be depressing me and that I couldn’t bear to attend any event politicizing grief, so my GOOD self, said “hit send” and I did.    And in no time at all a few friends even said “see you there” and a few more said, “ok maybe” and when the appointed hour came today, I took off to the meeting spot preparing to be with people I know and trust to talk about dreams and hopes and life and the affirmation of love in the world.

Upon arrival to the designated locale, a few texts came to my phone and as I approached the door it seemed the space is closed for a private event.  I stopped to look at the messages and saw “sorry, can’t make it” in a few versions and quickly send out a couple “oops, it’s late but tea is cancelled” notes, ending with “let’s check in tomorrow” and start heading toward my car with thoughts of my pillow.  Then I saw a couple of agile teens carrying stacks of djembes towards the front door.  Just yesterday I was part of a team leading a workshop about play and music and set the intention in my heart of actually do something with that drum of mine perched in the corner of my office.

Turning down the driveway, I saw some  more fragile older folks balancing even more of these African drums in their hands and I run up the few stairs to help hold open the door.  The room was near packed with big drums, little drums and medium size drums, too.  There are wall to wall chairs and art that seemed to have been done by young people filling each nook and crevice between the tea displays I ask a woman by the door if she’s part of the team planning the event, and she says “no, but you should talk to her”  pointing me to a lovely and serene woman in a red dress looking dramatically matriarchal and very busy ALL at the same time.  Still, I go AGAINST my natural tendencies (see “under the covers” above), and say “I think I need to know you” – and she proceeds to tell me that this event is all about drumming for peace, and of course I’m welcome to stay and participate and help bring more healing to the world on this day.

I try to help the set up team arrange a few chairs and started to feel like I was in the way.  The space was thick with drums and youthful frenetic artists and fragile tea cups and no matter what I tried to do, someone seemed a little irked by my interference – so I started to slink towards the corner and contemplate escape.   But then I see another woman sort of standing on the edge of the room, too.   She was wearing a flowy green dress with interesting baubles and a warm smile.  Turns out this very interesting Goddess  is on a beautiful spiritual path and we talk for some time about mothers and daughters and tea pots and teaching and learning and music.  We promise to be in touch and exchange our cards.   Soon a leader welcomes us, there is a blessing and a story about the hosting organization told via a beautiful slide show…then the drumming begins and I am transported to some wonderful place…where there are adults of all ages and many many races playing drums next to young people of all sorts of families and backgrounds.  We follow a rhythm, look to our neighbors when we lose the beat and pray in syncopated breaths with soulful sound.  I felt a part of something powerful and loving.  My spirit is lifted and there is a sense of hope in every crowded corner of the room

When it was time to leave, the matriarch who had invited me in and I exchanged tear filled gratitudes  and promises to be in touch.  Then, she looked at my business card and agreed “oh yes, we need to know one another.” Even though afternoon tea didn’t happen as planned, I had been thirsting for something and somehow – got a cup over flowing!

Writing Prompt:  My cup is filled with….

One thought on “CommuniTEA

  1. Exactly. Feeling connected starts with feeling isolated. And extraordinary experiences come from extraordinary efforts (such as reaching out and connecting!). As my British landlady said, “community and happiness takes work!”

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