Exsultate in the key of Green

Truly there is serendipity in the multiverse! Today’s tea is Green Passionfruit. It is, needless to say, a green tea.


No, we are not melodramatic. It is absolutely an occasion to give Leontyne Price’s High C an airing. It’s to die for. (Can one sing Alleluia in Advent? Probably not, but if The Messiah gets to break that rule, we can too.) Rejoice greatly while you’re at it. Shout, tea drinkers of your many and varied nations. Etc, Etc.

We could go on. We’ve just spent the evening at The Messiah. It was the Mozart arrangement, completely uncut and moved at a good pace for a Wednesday evening. Fewer ornaments than usual, which is an odd turn for Handel, whose arias are supposed to showcase the vocal acrobatics of the performers, but still good.

Mind you, the pieces were all playing musical chairs. The tenor had Rejoice Greatly, the soloists stole the fun part of For Unto Us from the chorus. This last is bad form, by the way. The chorus should always be allowed its musical jokes; we don’t get to show off as much as the soloists!

We know, we know, there are as many versions of a Handel Messiah as we’ve had hot dinners. More probably. It swaps up the vocal colouration, is all. Literally, in the case of a good friend, who once wailed, on hearing the soprano was doing double duty and covering for a snowbound tenor, ‘It will sound green and not yellow!’

We don’t hear colours, but we do get used to certain cadences. We enjoyed this performance, but you can bet we’ll stick on Lucia Popp’s Rejoice at some point over the holidays because it means Christmas to us the way wreaths and Advent Calendars and tress do for other people.

Which brings us, in a roundabout way, back to this morning’s tea. It had come up before, and part of our delight was its familiarity. We remember that it tasted good, and, indeed, it still does. Steeped for about five minutes, green passionfruit makes for a tania-rich tea that is kept from turning bitter by the passionfruit. In fact, the two balance each other out nicely, so that while the passionfruit isn’t as overt as, say, the cranberries in the White Cranberry offering of some days ago, neither is it dominated by the green tea. They harmonise like a plagal cadence or a major triad or something. The website wants us to believe this makes for a lovely iced tea, and while it probably does, we’re not sure why anyone would bother when its such a lovely cold-weather drink brewed hot.

It’s becoming remarkably clear as we write how much enmeshed we are with certain habits. Not breaking news exactly, we’re Anglican after all, and no one has us beat on tradition. As the old saw goes, once is an event, twice is a habit, three times is a tradition. In that vein, here’s an old but well-worn poem, where if the speaker doesn’t quite agree with us, his animal absolutely would.

Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Good tea, good music, and good poetry. Does it get better than this? We don’t think so, but we send commiserations to the horse for disrupting its routine. Somewhere,  there’s a congregation waiting to welcome it onto the sides persons team or the refreshments committee, or something. Anyone who knows of one is encouraged to be in touch.

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