About ten years ago I started drinking tea. I stayed up late back then (still do) and often didn’t get much sleep. My default energy source was soda, but something about tea connected to me on a deeper level.
I was frustrated by how the world was focusing more and more on doing things now and getting immediate rewards. There was no concept of patience or development, it was all just instant gratification. Looking back, I’d almost say that has gotten even worse over the past decade.
What fascinated me about tea was that you had to invest in it. You had to boil the water, scoop out the loose leaf tea, steep the tea, then finally after 10 or 15 minutes you get to enjoy it. When you can’t have something immediately but you have other similar replacement options readily available, you really figure out if you truly want it or not.
Tea forced me to slow down and be patient to get something I really wanted. You can’t make water boil faster than a stove, you can’t make tea steep faster, and you can’t cool it down once you pour it out piping how any faster than it takes naturally. But then when you finally consume it, you almost taste the patience and effort that went into it. I swear it enhances the flavor knowing that, in some way, you earned it.
Later that year I was driving back from Eagan heading onto northbound 35E when I saw a brilliant rainbow. I pulled the car over and got out and witnessed one of the most majestic moments of nature I have ever seen. There was a double rainbow. The first rainbow was the best rainbow imaginable – damn near opaque, vibrant, and unbroken. The second rainbow just below would have been the best rainbow I had ever seen if it weren’t for the one above it. It was also so rich and solid and impressive in every way. I stood on the side of road in absolute awe of this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle and realized that no one else even noticed. Every car was whizzing by, no doubt quickly traveling between doing task X and doing task Y, not giving the world around them so much as a thought or a look.
The world comes at you fast, and sometimes you need to force some patience on yourself. Demand that you slow things down, and I can guarantee you will find moments of joy that you normally speed right past.