This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA1956, February 23rd the woman born Norma Jean Mortenson legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and her life, for better or worse, will never be the same again. Just a few months later on June 5th a man set to be just as iconic takes the stage on the Milton Berle Show and scandalizes those looking on with the way he moved his hips. His name was Elvis Presley. Neither a watcher of films or a listener of popular music, Olivia will not take notice of either event. Her mind in squarely focused on the task at hand.

In front of her a table is laid out with countless small glass bowls filled with a variety of herbs, dried flowers and clippings from her garden. The herbs have been carefully selected from the overwhelming number of glass containers lining the shelves of her tea work room. The flowers have also been thoughtfully chosen from the drying flower field that hangs from the ceiling above. The clippings from her garden don’t have as much important except to keep the tea maker’s stomach from rumbling. This thought crosses her mind as her tummy gives her a small groan, which prompts her to reach for a carrot and begin nibbling on it in her best impersonation of a rabbit.

This day, May the 12th, she woke up and knew it was the day she would finally succeed in making her grandmother’s fabled arcanus circumpono tea. She didn’t know how she knew this, the knowledge was just there beating at the sides of her waking mind. Get up! Go to your tea room! Grab a little of whatever feels right! And play little Olivia, play! It was a wonderful feeling. All morning she had thought lovingly of her grandmother as she worked.

Olivia’s mother had passed away when she was a very little girl. Her father never recovered from the loss of his wife and tended to blame his mother’s influence on her as the reason she died. He was not a warm and giving man to begin with and this anger with his mother and rage over his wife being taken away so young did not leave a happy man for a little Olivia to grow up with. Thankfully, despite his anger, her father had no choice but to let his mother be apart of his daughter’s life. He didn’t like seeing the miniature version of his wife. It made him sad. Better to leave her with her grandmother as much as possible was his take on the matter.

Now, Olivia’s grandmother would tell you to bite your tongue if you called her a witch. She could hardly stand the term medicine woman. She was a tea maker and a brilliant and proud one at that. There was no ill that couldn’t be cured by her teas. There was no feeling or sensation that couldn’t be brewed. And if you had an itch for the more magical side of life, well… there were plenty of charms that could be mixed and loaded into the tea-spoon that would act as a magic wand. Grandmother Boots was gifted in her skills.

Olivia often wondered if half the reason her mother married her father was to be able to claim Boots as her second mother. The two were quite inseparable. Mother Boots, as Olivia’s mother called her, took her under her wing and taught her everything she knew. When little Olivia came into the picture the happy duo turned into a trio. The only one who didn’t get to be apart of this tea party was Olivia’s father. He was a coffee man. Coffee was almost an unforgivable swear word to Mother Boots.

It was a very early winter the year that Olivia’s mother died. The winter ghost came roaring with its dreaded fingers made of ice and its skin numbing breath. By the end of October it had taken hold of the land and would not lighten its grip. No one could know this was coming though because summer had decided to stay around well into the autumn. This is why Olivia’s mother was in very light clothing when she went into the forest one evening to collect a special flower that only bloomed under the cover of soft moonlight. She was deep in the forest when the first shout of winter blasted the trees and caused them to shake. By the time she realized the house was too far and the night was becoming too cold she had few places to look for other shelter. She pulled herself into a hollow in a tree and tried to start a fire. It was too late though. She fell into a frozen sleep to which she would not wake from.

The moon flower she had been collecting was for a very special tea that Mother Boots had always wanted to make. She had superstitions though so she didn’t like going into the nearby forest after dusk. The flowers were going to be a surprise for her. It was this reason Olivia’s dad blamed his mother for his wife’s death. If she hadn’t loved the old woman and her silly tea business so much she’d have never been out in the night, alone, oblivious to the storm that was coming. Mother Boots, though she didn’t like to admit it, felt herself to blame as well.

Their trio became a duo again and little Olivia and (no longer Mother but officially) Grandmother Boots slowly worked through their grief with tears, hugs and warm tea. When the spring came the little girl was ready to learn and the grandmother was ready to teach, but also to encourage a healthy superstitious side and the more secretive things she had yet to teach her daughter-in-law before she was lost.

Olivia remembered those early days as some of the most incredible moments of her life. There was nothing like the rich and potent smell of Grandmother Boots’ herb room. Her mixing room was a wonder as well with its shelves of tea making tools and small charms and the talisman she kept. When she made a tea, depending on the type of tea and what it was for, she liked to use one of these token items to watch over the preparation and mixing. The whole process was very ritualistic for her and because of this and the way she spoke of it many people who knew her made that mistake of thinking her witchy.

Towards the end of Grandmother Boots’ life she was slowing down and arthritis was settling into her joints. She had a tea for that, of course, but fate could be cruel with its humor. The joke was that she slowly developed an allergy to the two main ingredients of the joint soothing tea. Eventually she, with much grace and mirth, accepted her fate. She told a nearly grown-up Olivia that soon she would either leave this world to be with the shadows or she’d finally perfect her recipe for arcanus circumpono tea and sip her way into an unseen place.

Perhaps it was making this statement aloud that finally put the passion in her to create this tea. Passion isn’t the right word for what came over her though. Grandmother Boots fell prey to a powerful fever. At all times she was smiling like a madness was taking over and her eyes would be wide and bright. Had Olivia not known what had come over her she might have been concerned or even frightened. By then she understood the quest for the most allusive recipes though. Olivia already had a few that were the focus of her own tea mania.

One day Grandmother Boots seemed especially worn out. Her hands, once so slim and delicate, were turning into knots that didn’t like to move with any ease. The act of holding a tea cup was especially hard and sometimes Olivia would find herself putting her own slender fingers to the bottom of the cup and giving it support so her grandmother could take a sip from it. This particular day it had all become as bad as Olivia had ever seen. The old woman sat listlessly in her favorite chair, with her cooling tea untouched next to her.

Olivia went to her and picked up the tea and started to move to help her grandmother drink but the old woman shook her head slowly. “I can’t believe I would ever say this Olivia my dear, but old Boots is not thirsty today.”

Olivia had sat the cup down and looked down at her withering grandmother feeling so very helpless. “Is there absolutely anything I can do to help you grandma?”

A smile crossed the old woman’s lips. The granddaughter seldom used the simple term grandma and old Boots secretly loved it when she did. It made her feel like a very loved person. She motioned for the young woman to come kneel next to her.

“Ask me a question Olivia. Any question you’ve always wanted to ask or one I never answered.” the old woman said.

Olivia had to think about this for a moment. There were no secrets between them and Grandmother Boots never turned away a question. But then that very thought gave her the question she had always wondered but had never asked. Why had she never asked it? Because she had first asked her father and he had only said because a stupid old woman is superstitious and she keeps doing a stupid thing an old woman should be more proper about and left it at that. Olivia had never wanted to ask her grandmother as a result of his snippy answer.

The young woman smiled. “Grandma? Why do they call you Boots?”

The old woman’s eyes got very big and she began to laugh. It was a very hearty laugh that had been missing from their home since the pain in her body started to get the better of her. “Oh! That! I thought you knew!”

With that the old woman put her knotted hands on her knees and made a small show of moving her very long skirt around. In their entire life together Olivia had never seen her grandmother in anything other than her an inch longer than floor length skirts and dresses. The way she shuffled about in her dramatic autumn colored clothing was just something that was as natural to her character as her sense of humor and her loving charm. It brought about another old thought of Olivia’s mother to mind. Momma? Does grandma have feet? She had asked, to which her mother had laughed and laughed before finally saying she does, but I’ve never actually seen them. She could be fibbing. This memory made Olivia start to laugh because she thought she finally had the answer.

Grandmother Boots, with some difficulty, dramatically pulled her long skirts up and stuck out her feet. Olivia knew there would be boots under there but she was not expecting the ridiculously worn combat boots on the old woman’s feet. Above them were hand knitted striped stockings Olivia just knew her mother must have knitted as a joke. Witches wore striped stockings didn’t they?

“Grandma!” Olivia laughed. “How wonderfully hideous they are!” And they were! The boots looked as old and worn as the woman who wore them.

“Oh I know dear but I am very old and I’ve lived through a few wars. I lost my shoes once and was walking in the mud for days with my father. A solider found us and was leading us to a church that was taking in those displaced by the battle. He couldn’t bare seeing the state of my feet so he gave me his boots. He assured me that he could get another pair and wouldn’t let me refuse them. They are the only thing, I think, that spared me losing my toes during that whole sorry event. I have worn them every day of my life since. I even almost grew into them but there’s still a couple of inches of room for my toes to dance around. My husband, your grandfather who sadly you never got to meet, first was attracted to seeing a woman in pants and boots. But as the years went on and I was supposed to be more of a proper married lady he liked me wearing them less and less. So he started to call me ole Boots because he thought I would dislike it. But I absolutely adored it! We found a compromise. I started stitching my long skirts so he didn’t have to see them and he was happy to give me a nice foot rub in an effort to get me out of them. This is why they call me Boots.”

Olivia sighed and desperately wanted to hug her grandma but she knew the embrace would be too much for her fragile body. Instead she nodded her head and pointed out another mystery that was revealed to her. “So you’re the one always bringing in all the dirt. I thought it was upset pixies. I hate to admit it but I accidentally have left cream that has soured for them on the stoop.”

Grandmother Boots looked confused for a moment. “What are you talking about dear?”

Olivia pointed towards the front door where a broom stood guard. “Boot dirt grandma. I think you must leave a little at the door when you come in from the garden.”

The confused look passed and in its place was a look of struggle. There was a thought on the tip of the old woman’s mind that she couldn’t quite get to. “Important things become sacred things. This ingredient is the most important. It will be strange and unknown until the time it is known. This is why every recipe is different.” she whispered to herself. She looked up at her granddaughter and an expression of pure realization and bliss glowed from her face. “Boot dirt.” she said.

Olivia didn’t know what this had to do with anything but it had lit a fire in the room and brought that fever back in full force to her grandmother. Grandmother Boots started to pull herself from the chair and didn’t refuse her granddaughter’s help to do so. Her mind was racing and Olivia hadn’t any idea what was going on in that race. She only knew the old woman had purpose again and didn’t seem quite so old in that moment.

“You want to do something for me Olivia dear? Well I’ve got two tasks for you. First go out back and take three leaves and a small bit of branch from your mother’s tree and bring it inside. Then I would like for you to brew me up my old lady tea.”

Olivia started to object to the latter task. “But grandma! You’re allergic to it! It’ll make you sick.”

Grandmother Boots shush’d off the young woman’s concern. “I’ll deal with that. Right now I need to be a little bit more limber, little less pain. It’ll be alright. Now please go and do these things quickly. I started the day very sadly because I knew the clock was ticking down but my darling girl you have given it a brief pause and I intend to make the most of it!” with that said the old woman shuffled off to her tea making room.

Olivia had walked out to her mother’s tree in the backyard trying to get over feeling confused and slightly worried. The worry was intensified as she stopped under her mother’s tree.

The tree was not a dedication to her mother but, in Grandmother Boots and Olivia’s mind, her mother herself. They lived on a very rural property with a massive forest and a large backyard. When her mother died they buried her towards the edge of the backyard and planted an oak tree seed with her. Over time the tree had grown tall and strong. As a child Olivia would sit near the sapling and sing lullabies to it as the sun started to set. She had nightmares sometimes about her mother out there in the cold alone on her last night. She worried the tree would have such nightmares as well and she wanted to comfort it. The act comforted her as well and helped make her own nightmares go away. All through the years Olivia had turned to this tree when she would have turned to her mother.

Olivia gently plucked three large leaves from the tree and gave it an apology when she snapped off the end of one of the branches. She put her hand to the trunk and whispered a few things to the bark that were only for her mother’s ears. Then she returned to the house.

It took an hour to brew her grandmother’s special tea. She probably knew the recipe and process better than Grandmother Boots herself. The old woman had only been able to brew the tea on four occasions before she started needing help. She’d had a good eight months of relief from the tea until the allergy started to show itself. She would get large and painful hives that made the state of her joints hurt that much worse. Sometimes her eyes would swell shut. The doctor had told her it was not the tea itself but the gradual accumulation of the two ingredients in her system that brought on the reaction. This discovery was made only after Olivia pestered her grandmother to at least see a regular doctor once about it. Afterwards Grandmother Boots had admitted the doctor’s diagnosis had made sense and she had been so excited to be free of her misery that she’d forgotten this potential hazard herself.

Olivia had brought the tea to her grandmother’s tea making room but the door was locked. The door was only ever locked when the old woman was brewing a special charm. This caused the young woman to grow more concerned. She gently knocked on the door and said she had tea and tree clippings for her.

The door opened only enough for Grandmother Boots to take the tea cup and bowl of tree parts from her granddaughter. “I’m sorry dear, I can’t let you in. One day you’ll understand and when you do you can’t have seen how I went about things. You’ll have to do it yourself. You’ll wake up one morning and know exactly what you must do even if it hadn’t occurred to you for so long. In fact, you’ll probably kick yourself a little for not having realized what it was you needed to do. Don’t worry my dear, it’ll make sense. Now leave me to my tea making and I’ll see you before you go to bed.”

That was a long night for the young woman. She waited impatiently for her grandmother to come out of her locked room. She went from being worried to upset with how Grandmother Boots so casually let her granddaughter sit and worry. She became more irritated as she thought about all the strange things the old woman had said. It wasn’t exactly out of her grandmother’s character to be vague when she was wrestling with an idea, but having been so down and weak that day… this behavior was just upsetting. As she thought this, Olivia’s anger calmed itself back to worry.

Just before midnight the locked door had finally gave a click of the lock disengaging and Grandmother Boots came out of her tea room with small hives lining her face, but a look of utter joy overriding any discomfort she might be feeling. “Oh my sweet girl.” she whispered. She walked to granddaughter with her arms open wide. Olivia easily slipped into her embrace and tried not to squeeze too hard. She was so happy to be hugging her grandmother again.

“You’re worrying me Grandmother Boots. Shame on you.” she whispered into her grandmother’s soft silver hair.

“I know my dear, I know. I can only ask that you forgive me. When an old woman is in pain and looking at an approaching end without having achieved her biggest goal there will be some rash behavior when she realizes she still has a chance to do so. You gave me that chance today Olivia. I can’t thank you enough for that.”

“This is about your silly arcanus circumpono tea? I should have known.”

Grandmother Boots held her granddaughter out at arms length and smiled. “Yes. It’s about my silly tea. I succeeded and it is a most beautiful thing indeed. It has worn me out though so I am going to get some sleep. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” and then she embraced her granddaughter again and hugged her tightly.

Olivia’s last memory of her grandmother was watching her shuffle towards her bedroom and turning to look back before she went down the hallway. She had said “I hope you know just how much I love you Olivia.” to which Olivia had told her she knew and that she loved her grandmother that much plus an inch; something her mother used to say to her. Then the old woman was lost to the shadows of the hallway and Olivia only knew she was in her room when she heard the door close.

The next morning there was no grandmother at the kitchen table. There would be no continued discussion about her legendary tea or how the granddaughter had helped her realize it. Olivia found her Grandmother Boots in bed with her eyes shut. She looked most peaceful. She could have been asleep except there was no movement of her chest taking in those sleeper’s deep breaths. At some point while Olivia slept the old woman had slipped out of her room and quietly made a cup of tea. Presumably her arcanus circumpono tea. The cup was empty and smelled slightly foul.

In Grandmother Boots hands was a small journal she always kept close to her. There was a note on top of it with Olivia’s name on it. The note said: Olivia, my most precious gift, I’m sorry that I did not say good-bye to you last night. I know you will understand and remember that I never say good-bye because I don’t believe in them. We all exist in an ever-changing state of being and though I will no longer see you in this state I will see you again in the next. Please know that I choose to willingly not go to the shadows but to that other place where so few eyes get to see. I wish I could have taken all of me there but than my poor body has become old and tired. It’s time for it to go into the earth and help nourish the lives of other things. Please lay me next to my daughter. When your mother’s oak blooms please take a seed from it and put it in the ground with me so that some remnants of me can be with her again. Mother to daughter, daughter to mother. Now don’t cry and take my journal and learn from it. Perhaps you will decide to come see me one day. I have left the secret to my recipe at the back of the book. I love you Olivia. I will always love you and I will miss you during the time that we are apart.

In the present Olivia felt a tear welling up in her eye as she thought about that moment. Quickly she wiped it away because after reading her grandmother’s parting note she had promised she would only ever celebrate the memory of her Grandmother Boots and not cry for her. And it was going to be alright, wasn’t it?

The years since that morning where she found her grandmother had been very good to Olivia. Though she hadn’t married or had any children of her own, she’d become a teacher and in that sense she had a very large family. Her students typically started out as teens and remained her students from that point on. She founded the Grandmother Boots Charming Tea Society and these people became the brothers and sisters she never had. She eventually found a charming little town in the middle of nowhere to settle down in. There she started her own tea shop called The Orange Moon Trading Company, named for the town. She became so at one with this wonderful place she only ever left it to visit her students or her tea society meetings. Eventually, as her own aging body started to go the way of her grandmother’s, she asked them to come to her. Her house was always filled with the sounds of laughter and the smells of tea because everyone she knew loved visiting her and that town. Yes, life had been very good to Olivia.

Now she was brewing her last cup of tea. The recipe had been vexing. The basic ingredients had been listed by her grandmother but this was only the foundation of the tea. The other ingredients were completely unknown. The last bit of advice Grandmother Boots had given her, written at the back of her journal, had read: Important things become sacred things. This ingredient is the most important. It will be strange and unknown until the time it is known. This is why every recipe is different. This was the very thing her grandmother had said earlier in the day when she’d had her own epiphany.

Just a few days ago a student had been visiting. The student was very excited because she was about to graduate from her formal studies (collage not tea crafting –she’d graduated from Olivia’ school of tea many years before) and wanted to move to her teacher’s beloved town Orange Moon Downs. What she wanted to know was if she might stay with her teacher until she got herself set up in town and could she work at Olivia’s tea shop? The old woman had of course said yes. This was one of her best and most beloved students. She only wished this scenario was playing out at an earlier point in the old woman’s life. She was quite tired these days.

The last night of her student’s visit they had talked at length about Grandmother Boots. Olivia loved to share all her grandmother stories except for one: She didn’t speak of arcanus circumpono tea and how it came to be made. But on that night she told the young woman the whole story. She felt she had many children she cared for in her life but this student was like the daughter she never had. Olivia had told her this over the many years she knew her. She’d even cared for the young woman as a foster parent when she was just a little girl. They had a special bond and she wanted to leave someone she trusted with the full story of Grandmother Boots.

It was during that retelling of that last night with her grandmother that caused ideas to swirl and she brought out the journal to take another crack at the old recipe. Upon waking her gut had already told her it would be successful, now she sat at her tea making table looking at her old, knotted hands. “Alright girls. Impress me!” she whispered into her fingers.

Hours passed and ingredients were judged left and right. Everything was there, right there! Olivia knew it but there was just something missing. It was a subtle thing that should be coming to her. The more she struggled the farther away that illusive thing became until she was pushing herself away from her tea table in frustration.

“I know it’s here. It’s right here!” she barked at the room. “I just…” she sighed wearily. “I just have to stop over thinking it.”

The phone rang and it gave Olivia the excuse she needed for a break. She spent a half of an hour on the phone with the town’s only lawyer. All the final details of her will were in place and the lawyer promised her he would undertake every last detail she had written down for him. This was comforting. She set the phone down and smiled as she thought of her student’s last visit. It was sad she wouldn’t be seeing her again but like Grandmother Boots always said: There are no good-byes, just until we see each other again.

Thoughts of her grandmother again swam through the old woman’s thoughts and then Olivia’s face went blank as her mind lit up. “Boot dirt…” she whispered.

The old woman was out the door with a jar and spade in hand. She moved as quickly as her old body would allow. She passed through her Victorian flower garden and then through her vegetable garden. She passed her wild flower patch where humming birds and butterflies drank from their respective feeders. Finally she was at the back of her land where two quickly growing saplings stood.

It had been no been no easy decision deciding to sell her grandmother’s home. The move to Orange Moon Downs had been an easy one, but leaving her beloved, life long home behind took awhile for her to deal with. More than that, she felt like she was leaving her mother and grandmother’s trees alone behind that house. So it had been to her ultimate delight when two of the members of Grandmother Boots Charming Tea Society had told her they were getting married and wanted to buy the house. She felt as though she left it and her family’s memories in good hands. Now there were three children who’d been born in the house and were continuing its legacy.

The day Olivia made her final move from her childhood home she said goodbye to her trees and took seeds from them. She planted these seeds throughout the town of Orange Moon Downs so there was the spirit of her family watching over it. She also planted one seed from each tree in her own backyard. They were growing well but still just saplings. It had only been that past year where she’d been able to remove the poles that helped them stay upright.

At the front of each sapling sat one shoe. Actually a boot. Her mother’s tree had a left boot and her grandmother’s tree had a right boot. These boots had offered protection to a soldier’s feet and then to her grandmother. They’d been the source of a strong willed woman’s nickname. They’d seen a lot of time and a lot of life and Olivia hadn’t just wanted to leave them sitting on a shelf as a relic. She’d folded down the sides and filled them with dirt. During the warm months purple and yellow pansies grew from them. In the winter Olivia kept bird seed in them for the few winter birds that stuck around.

She walked over to the flowering boots and took a small bit of dirt from each boot. Then she took a leaf from each sapling and two twigs from each. “Boot dirt.” she giggled.

Back in her house Olivia took some time to clean up her tea room. She left notes throughout the house for her student about what was what and where this and that were at. Then she took her cup of tea and moved into her front room and sat in her comfy chair. She put her two leaves into her tea and used the two twigs to stir it. Simple ingredients she mused. Ingredients that were there all along. Much like her grandmother’s recipe most likely and yet still not her recipe. Olivia’s arcanus circumpono tea was unique to her.

She took a deep breath and with a smile on her lips she sipped her tea. She did this slowly, savoring the ridiculously awful tasting tea. “Oh it’s like I brewed a good cup of tea in a mud puddle.” she whispered. “I’ve never tasted anything so wonderful.”

Soon the tea was gone and Olivia felt a little bemused that nothing had happened. She was content with the idea that she’d followed a ritual and it was one that was going to help her let go of life and get the rest she needed. Her eyes grew heavy and Olivia fell asleep.

“No time for snoozing woman! We’ve got things to see! Strange places to be!”

Olivia’s eyes snapped open. She thought the voice she’d heard had been the last part of a dream she couldn’t remember only there was a woman standing in the doorway. She didn’t recognize the woman, though there was something familiar about her.

The woman was pretty, a little on the slender side and rather tall for a female. Her hair was long, the color of corn-silk and pulled up into an untidy bun. There were crimson and gold flowers tucked into the bun. She wore a pin-striped vest with a throat full of bobbles and beads. At her waist was a leather belt with various small pouches on it and a very long patchwork skirt flowing down from it. Two bands snaked out from under the skirt, attaching to the belt so that the skirt’s front was gathered up and allowed her legging covered legs to be exposed. And at the end of this very bohemian meets adventurer look? Feet secured behind combat boots. It wasn’t the boots that gave her away though, it was the eyes. Olivia would know those eyes anywhere.

“Grandmother Boots?” she asked tentatively.

The woman nodded at her as she leaned against the front door way. She crossed her arms and legs in a casual manner the other woman had never seen her grandmother do. She’d always been too stiff for such easy gestures.

“Nothing gets by you Olivia my dear. Now it’s time to get up. We’ve got things to do.”

Olivia smiled and didn’t question the strange vision. She began to stir and almost cried out in delight when she felt how easy it was to move. Without difficulty or pain she got up from the chair and stood. Her whole body felt light and good. This wasn’t the only thing different though. As she looked around the room it was like someone had turned the colors up. Every last thing around her could be seen in colors so much more varied and detailed than Olivia ever remembered. It was so vivid and beautiful. Even the pale white of a cobweb in the corner was shining like pale gold reflecting the sun. In front of her Grandmother Boots was painted in a rainbow of colors the granddaughter had never knew exited.

“What in the world?” she whispered.

Grandmother Boots smiled with sparkling teeth. “Incredible isn’t it? I thought it would be a different world but it’s not. It’s our world as our living eyes don’t get to see it. It is so brilliant and there are so many things that live within that brilliance. And you and I are not shadows in it but stray beams of light. Light with substance, light with purpose!” She straightened herself up and offered a hand to her granddaughter. “Now, come with me and don’t look back. This isn’t a Lot’s wife sort of situation, I just think you’d prefer to not look back. There is already someone on route to tend to that. You’ll be looked after as you looked after me.”

Olivia didn’t want to ponder too deeply what that might mean, especially since she had a sneaking suspicion it had to do with what she was physically leaving behind. She crossed the room and took her grandmother’s hand. The outside world was a glowing kaleidoscope cascade of color and light. “Where are we going?” she asked.

“I think we’ll have a look around your town. I’ve waited to come see it until it was time to see you again. I can feel it and smell it every time the wind blows through my trees though. It feels and smells wonderful! After that I think we should stop by our old house. I’ve been so long looking for my daughter but I realize she really has been hiding in that tree of hers. She was there to look after you and when you left she grew attached to those children in the house. But it’s time she let go a little. Let’s see if we can’t help her brew her own ghostly arcanus circumpono tea and maybe experience them and the world a little differently.”

And with that grandmother and granddaughter stepped hand and hand through the doorway and into the world existing behind what we perceive to be the real one.

On this day in 1956 Olivia perfected her own recipe for arcanus circumpono tea and the pale veil over this world and Orange Moon Downs was removed. — Pagona Talbot


Pagona Talbot is the daughter of famed alchemist (and a favorite of the ladies) Gray Talbot and a self proclaimed little witch. She’s famous for many of her strange edible potions but her most notorious one is her Punchnersissky Punch, which makes the stomach glow after one drinks it. Pagona has been heard to say this comes from milking fireflies for the punch recipe. In Orange Moon Downs she is the celebrated author of The Book of Tea, which includes tea facts, tea stories and this day in tea.


This Day in Tea: May 12th, 1956
is copyright 2016 Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved.

*Source of the photograph used is unknown. I found it on a variety
of different websites un-credited and freely used.
If you know the source please let us know! 🙂

Comments are closed.