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Friday, January 27, 2012

Having Tea With Sophia

Having Tea With Sophia by northwoodsluna
Having Tea With Sophia, a photo by northwoodsluna on Flickr.

What is it about tea with rose petals? Is it the fragrance? The subtle sweetness of the rose in the brew? Is it that roses always make me think of my dad? Is it that the moments of bliss in a cup are so rare? Roses and teacups, roses in teacups, play a delicate melody in my heart of hearts. I find comfort in a cup of rose infused tea. It feeds the senses, pleasing to sight, taste, the touch of warmth from the steaming cup, a memory of summer in a cup on a cold winter's day. I equate roses with the J.M. Barrie quote: "God gave us memories that we might have roses in December." (and January, and February when winter seems as if it will never end.)

Republic of Tea makes a Rose Petal Tea, that has Rose Petals and small rosebuds. It used to be called Tea for the Queen of Hearts, released annually in time for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. I bought it at Barnes and Noble for years before they stopped carrying Republic of Tea products. I've missed it! Last night I ordered a pound of it at Republic of Tea's website along with Pomegranate Green Tea, and Coconut Cocoa Tea. A bit of self indulgence of guilty pleasure. I can hardly wait for them to get here!

But then perhaps what it is about rose petals is the fragrance that brings remembrance of The God/dess. I worship a God/dess of Beauty, a Creator of Beauty, one of her faces that of Sophia, Spirit of Wisdom, Lady Wisdom. The fragrance of roses, the subtle sweetness of rose petal tea is a thing of beauty, that Sophia brings me as a gift of love. The Catholic girl who still lives inside of me remembers girlhood devotion to Mary, who I always felt closer to than to Jesus or The Father. Not the Mary that has been used as a model of submission and suffering, the Mary who had choice and joy, love, and questions, the Mary who stepped over the line of what was “decent” going against social mores, rules, and convention. I have always kept an altar in honor of Mary. My Lutheran husband has encouraged this and honored this in latter years as Sophia became more familiar and present in his own life. It makes for a happy melding of our two very different types of spirituality, complementary, balanced. I am fortunate that he is a fan of women and of the feminine Spirit. Goddess is the bringer of beauty in my life. I can no more separate beauty from Goddess than I can inhaling from exhaling the breath of life. Beauty is breathed in and made part of me, of my spirit, of my expressions of “faith” and of “hope”.

Joyce Rupp writes in her book LETTERS TO SOPHIA



Irresistible Beauty,
I am often caught up in the kaleidoscope of your love
through the beautiful gifts I find in my life.
In those graced glimpses, I am swept away by gratitude
for your companionship and your constancy.
Sometimes your created beauty calls so deeply to me
that I am carried away to a place beyond,
where union with you is simple and complete.

This Day it is November sunsets that draw me to you.
I gaze at the dark gray clouds hanging over
The peaceful peaks of the distant mountains,
a peach strand and a pink glow touching them.
I stay long, looking at their ever changing forms
through the barren branches of the aspen trees.

Your beauty is reflected there, everywhere.
I receive your mantle of magnificence
and wear it as a cloak around my soul.

You have brought me much by your loveliness:
consolation, affirmation, healing, challenge, gratitude.
Thank you for your dance of divine allurement
in the secret heart of everything magnificent.
I cannot live without beauty.
I cannot live without you.
~Joyce Rupp

[Sophia] is more beautiful than the sun
And excels every constellation of the stars.
Wisdom 7:26

It’s been a wild week. I’m so glad I took some time for me on Monday to recuperate from the toxic weekend. However, it sure did make Tuesday crunch time!

Tuesday morning I got up early and did a journal page then started doing a week and a half’s laundry while I did some cleaning. Our house gets to be such a pit so quickly! A lot of it was my own clutter spread all over the kitchen, dining room and living room. We were told on Sunday that the two men from church would be here later in the week to start working on the cupboard. Tuesday morning one of the men called, he wanted to come over to look at it right away. I freaked out. I already had a long day scheduled from 11:30 on. Tom was busy getting ready for a premarital counseling session, scoring the assessment tool prior to the session. It takes quite a while to do that. So I did my impression of The Bionic Woman cleaning her house, I got a true aerobic workout. Tom agreed that the guy could come at 4:00 when he was finished with his session. I had a meeting scheduled over lunch at noon in town, with a new therapist who will be working individually with kids I do family counseling for. There was no way I could get things to the point where I’d feel comfortable letting anyone from the church into my home. I cancelled/rescheduled the lunch meeting. So I didn’t have to leave until 2:30. I got the house in shape and had time to shower before going. Of course the couple called 20 minutes before Tom’s session to cancel, the same couple who cancelled last minute last week when he scheduled with them on their day off. I didn’t get home from work til about 8 that night. I stopped at Subway and brought home subs for the day as I was too tired to cook. I hurt all over, I think the only part of my body that didn’t hurt was the tip of my nose. I got home just in time to watch Obama’s state of the Union address. I was in bed before 10:00 and thankfully with a some Ibuprofen and melatonin I slept well all night. I still hurt yesterday when I woke up but it was tolerable.

Sessions yesterday were rough ones and I had to work in two meetings between sessions with school staff and School Social Worker. I’m so glad that today is Thursday. I have one meeting with a family at 4:30 and then I’m done with clients for the week! (Unless I manage to schedule with the new referral I got on Friday last week. So far I’ve not been successful contacting her.) Today I spent all day working on paperwork. I got all of last week’s done at least and it’s ready to mail. I’ve got Morrocan Lentils in the crockpot for dinner. It’s smelling amazing as it cooks! I can’t wait to get home for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to having a day to work in pajamas and do this week’s paperwork to get that mailed off too to have a totally free weekend! Tom has a funeral on Saturday but I’m not going to that one, so I’ll have the house blissfully to myself for a while, and no extra meetings this weekend either! Yay!!!

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