The Tea Lady can, cause she mixes it with love…
“Who can take a rainbow
Wrap it in a sigh
Soak it in the sun
and make a groovy lemon pie?
The Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good”.
“The Candy Man Can” song always comes to mind when I am making tea. To me and as I ply my trade, it seems so accurate and I truly believe that this Tea Lady can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, then cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two. Quite literally. And let me explain why.
I guess I can say that my relationship with natural remedies and love for natural ingredients began when I was very young, by observing my mother and grandmother. I would always be given chamomile tea when I had an upset stomach and oxidized apples to treat more acute stomach symptoms. Cucumber, honey and garlic were not only considered foods in our house, but medicine and/or cosmetics in their own merit, and there would always be fresh aloe vera for skin ailments. I was taught in my upbringing that Mother Nature always provides for us and our pharmacy could be best described as a garden instead of a retail establishment with cabinets filled with medicine bottles. I was always fascinated by this, and it was always a great day when I got to help my mom or grandmother prepare one of their magical concoctions and learn more about these ancient teachings.
To give you an even broader idea of my background and fascination with herbs and natural remedies, I can tell you that I consider myself a city rat historically as I was born and raised in Mexico city, one of the biggest cities in the world. And yet, I think of myself as a herbalist and nature lover at heart. The people that know me can attest to the fact that I am not, by any means, an expert on the Great Outdoors. But these people can also swear by my love and passion with nature, plants and herbs. To me, there is something sacred yet grounding, magical yet familiar and mystical yet prosaic about being outside in nature, observing the perfect balance and tuning into the frequency of the mountains. I moved to Colorado several years ago, and although I always thought of the beach as my sacred haven, I now know that the mountains are where I am supposed to be.
My connection with nature, plants and herbs and my understanding of how they work grew overtime and it does not come as a surprise that most cultures share this common trait. In fact, the most ancient teachings that we know today regarding spiritual and physical healing always bring us back to plants. From shamanism to rituals and spiritual teachings of all tradition, plants have always been regarded as alive, wise, aware and healers in their own right.
Think for instance of how you feel when you walk into a beautiful garden covered with flowers. And how you instinctively get the urge to get closer and breathe in their mesmerizing aroma. Think of the fact that hospitals always carry flowers in their gift shops. And they are also always present in weddings as well as funerals. This is because we understand in our hearts, that flowers are uplifting and affirming of life and so we want to bring these qualities to our friends and/or family members who are unwell or who are celebrating or grieving. Plants are an important part of our lives and we want them there for many reasons that range from aesthetic to therapeutic as they evoke feelings of wellness and beauty in general.
When working with plants and herbs, and especially when you believe in energy as being the essence of everything that exists like I do, it is fascinating to think about all the things that take place in order for a plant to grow. Let us take a quick look:
First, the soil has to be rich and ready. The same soil that was once “star stuff” and somehow ended up in planet Earth; the one that was once a living being and through the circle of life now humbly provides nutrients for other living beings to thrive on. This same soil that has already been through so much, receives the seeds that have also gone through their own cycle of embellishment and nestles them until the environment and conditions are optimal for them to germinate. The climate needs to be ideal and nurturing for them to grow and there needs to be plenty of sunshine and rain. The occasional rainbow makes an appearance during the course of a plant’s growth as well as the occasional herbivore that feasts on neighboring plants. These living beings witness laughter, sadness, love, anger, compassion and several other emotions from the humans that look after them. They receive the warm energy that their farmer provides with joy and gratitude. Wind, lightning, maybe even fire are present at one point during the life of a plant and when they are good and ready, they are picked for human consumption. Assuming all of this is done with the utmost respect and appreciation towards the sacred plant, they are plucked and picked and processed for our consumption and greater good. This is Mother Earth’s gift to us. Do you see how we end up being the lucky ones that get to consume a little piece of the universe? Do you see how a plant, flower or herb is so much more than just that? They are the result of all of these manifestations and actions and as such, are infused with all these energies. In them, the secrets of the universe are contained, and we get to eat them, drink them and feast on them. And by this process, we get to eat, drink and feast on all of those phenomena that took place.
Thinking about these principles, brings out the importance of consuming organic and ethically sourced products that support the local communities and that are socially responsible in how they are produced. The process is just as important as the end product because the plant is ultimately infused with these energies and this same energy is also consumed along with the plant itself. This is one of the many reasons why I always make sure that my products are sourced from places that share values of respect towards not only the plant, but also towards the environment and communities.
I understand, deep in my heart, that there is energy infused into everything that we do and everything that we consume and so putting all modesty aside, I can tell you that I have received compliments like “there is something about this tea…” or “this salve truly has magical powers”. Now you know why; the end product really does have the enchantment of a rainbow, the magic of the moonlight, the power of the sun, the ancient accumulated wisdom of centuries of practice and the passion and love of all the people that worked hard and poured their hearts into the beautiful plant, just as I do into each batch. All of these qualities, I bring with joy to your cup of tea. I really do mix it with love, and with this I hope to make the world taste and feel good, one cup at a time.