In Need of (Tea) and Music

We aren’t wild about herbal teas, and David’s herbals can be particularly hit and miss. Silent Night, tonight’s Advent Tea, is an exception.

The copy on the website for David’s Tea bills this one as full of spice, citrus and refreshing. It turns out it’s right on all counts. It’s a lovely blend of orange with Christmas spices that creates a tea that tastes incredibly seasonal. We give them bonus points for pulling it off without marshmallows, artificial flavour or anything unlawfully saccharine.

The orange gives this tea real zest. You feel it refreshing you as you drink it, which sounds unlikely but isn’t us over-egging anything.

After a weekend spent rushing around like the proverbial headless chicken, this was the perfect way to cap a late Sunday evening.

Okay, part of the running around involved The Messiah, which was lovely and also extremely seasonal. We quibbled with some of the alto ornaments in ‘O Thou That Tellest’ but recognize that since alto isn’t our line we can’t really do anything about that. They were perfectly good ornaments, by the way. They were just very out of left field.

Ditto some of the decorations in ‘I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.’ This one we get to have opinions on for the twofold reason that we sing soprano and specifically, can sing this aria. What we hadn’t appreciated until this afternoon was that we apparently had a set of standard ornaments so deeply embedded in our musical psyche we expected everyone to use them. Ah well.

Here’s a poem in keeping with the musical theme of the day. We think it’s as refreshing as Silent Night tea, but will let you have the last word.

I Am In Need of Music
Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colours deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

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