Elegant Hedgehogs and Peace on Earth

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery is an excellent book.  Read it. But I will talk about the tea drinking.

A cup of tea is soothing.  When I’m sick I drink gallons of it. When I read, especially in the winter, I like to keep the book company with tea.  My small tea-making ritual is soothing. Although the Japanese ritual of making tea is way beyond my humble abilities, I like to think about it when I brew the leaves.

The best people in the book love tea.  The Japanese man, the concierge, and the young girl all savor tea.  Tea makes you stop and think a little.  It is a quiet drink. Has anyone drank tea and committed violence? I bet more violence happens after a whiskey than a tea.  Any statisticians care about this silly, obvious challenge?

I read a review that said a French psychiatrist would rather prescribe the reading of this Hedgehog book than Prozac.  The book highlights how some very small things are the stuff that makes life worth living.  Tea, flowers, good company, all the best cure for what ails you.

Ishmael in Moby Dick compared the misty vapor from a whale’s spout and the steam that seems to gather above a deep thinker’s head.  Then he wondered if his cups of hot tea created that steaminess around his head.  Did his deep thoughts connect this doubter to a possibility of heaven or was it just the steam from the hot tea?  I would love to say that a great piece of literature plugs you into a higher being or spirituality more than anything else on earth. That’s about as close as I get to faith.  Or maybe tea creates illusions.

If it does, I’ll drink more gallons of it. Tea is relaxing, cleansing, and healing. Tea inspires quiet contemplation in times where little else is quiet.  I can’t believe I’m adding to the noise with this blog. The lure of Internet siren.

Read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, it reinforces some bit of hope in our bleak world.  To drink tea with the characters in the book would be heaven.

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