Saturday, October 24, 12:30p

Oddly, in all the beautiful, warm weather of our northern Michigan summer, I never once did tea outside. And then, in October, as the cold returned, I did the first outdoor ceremony since March, for someone other than me and my quarantea buddy.

The day began with rain that gradually turned to snow and scrapple with temperatures just below 40F. Like the winter ceremony last January, nearly everything was prepped at home, prior to heading to the site. It took several trips to carry everything to the site: tarp, blankets, seiza benches, umbrellas, thermos of hot water, large tub with all the tea dogu. There is no level ground at the site. We set up on the flattest place possible, still having about a 10-15 degree slope.

A serene location about a quarter mile walk off the main road, up a hill, on private land in Leelanau County, the site is breathtaking. Wooded land with a gentle opening amid the trees, the space feels sacred, and I felt as though I should only speak in whispers. Amazingly, the precipitation stopped while we were doing tea.

Today’s guests were a lovely young woman and her mother at the site of a memorial tree planted to honor the ashes of their recently deceased father/husband. I cannot think of a better way to return to sharing tea.

With gratitude,