5:25 AM, the alarm went off slowly growing in volume until she rolled over and turned it off. Darkness kept her in bed for hours. The cold kept her there longer. It was Sunday. Nowhere to be. No reason to get up, at least not an urgent one. Honestly it was just so hard to do anything when even high noon was dull and overcast.
As time continued to crawl she grew anxious. There were plenty of things she could be – should be – doing, but no real motivation to do any of it. Hard winter rain hammered the roof, and overflowed the gutters. Hunger slowly woke in her stomach. Stringy hair yearned to be washed. She wanted to get up, wanted to be productive. She just needed a catalyst.
Tea. The thought was like a lantern leading her onwards through the cold to her destination. She slithered out of bed still wrapped in her blankets, filled the kettle and set it to heat on the stove.
The cupboard held a wealth of choices: mint for stomach aches, chamomile for sleep, green tea for Chinese takeout, Chai tea for Indian, orange spice for hot summer days, rooibos for the cool of autumn, cherry blossom…
Her hand hovered over the Sakura tea. Light petals dried dark pink, scent evocative of a gentle spring day. Gentle showers a reprieve from the heavy winter downpour. Songbirds flitting about the lawn. Flowers painting the vista in vibrant splashes.
Petals rustled as she scooped them into the tea ball. The kettle whistled. Steam floated from the spout and hot water turned brownish-pink in her mug. A drizzle of honey completed the brew.
She shuffled around the house, tossing socks in the washer, toasting a sandwich, sweeping up the crumbs… Between each task she took a sip alternating which hand warmed itself around the mug. Her to-do list dwindled with the scarce daylight hours.
She retreated back under the covers vowing to wash her hair in the morning. There was still much to do. But much less thanks to a cup of stolen spring.