Archive for July 14th, 2013

109 For my birthday this spring, I received a most interesting tea-lover’s treat, a Numi Flowering Tea Enchanted Blossoms gift pack. The tea-gift arrived in a small wooden box worthy of treasure. And I had visions of the odds and ends I’d store in it: a small magnifying glass strung on a cord to hang around one’s neck, a pair of fingerless gloves, a tiny container of cicada wings, a book on reading tea leaves – you know, the usual things one finds around the house.

To my delight, besides a small glass teapot and lid, there was a box, thankfully with directions printed on the side, of Enchanted Blossoms – individually wrapped balls of handsewn tea leaves and flowers which bloom when steeped. I immediately heated up some water, selected a ball of compressed plant parts, dropped it in the teapot and set my favorite teacup on the table. With anticipation, I poured the boiling water into the pot and stared at the globe of plant material. As promised, the Flowering Tea opened to reveal a flower of dark pink petals in the center of olive green petals. A fragrant tea bloom of sorts.

The resulting beverage was pale and slightly fruity. The problem was, I had no idea which of the advertized teas I was drinking. Alas, the Flowering Tea balls looked much the same before dropping them into the water, and even when opened, could be easily misidentified. So I sipped a most delightful, but unknown cup of tea. But whether I was drinking Shooting Star, Sunset Oolong, Dragon Lily, Lavender Dream, or one of the other equally exotic flavors –it was delicious!

Which brings me to the issue of books. (You had to know I’d end up here). Sometimes, we readers need to be adventurous: pick a book that is different from our usual fare, a bit mysterious yet filled with promise, and try it.

I have my favorite types of books, as we all do, but I read other books, too. Sometimes, it’s because the column I write for Harford’s Heart Magazine requires that I read books outside of my preferred genres. Other times, a friend or family member recommends a book. And then, there are the books I become curious about because of their title, cover art, or opening sentence. (Note to authors: title, cover art, and opening sentence really do matter).

Do I always like new teas? No. Do I always like the books I read? Again, no. But discovering that satisfying new flavor of tea or that gem of a book make taking chances worthwhile. And so, I urge you to try something different, whether Flowering Tea Enchanted Blossoms or a new book genre or author. Perhaps, you’ll discover a favorite in the process. And maybe, it will even be one of my books: http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Amazon or http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-UK-Amazon

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