Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Acts of Love, Acts of Tea

Alexander McCall Smith, www.mccallsmith.com, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, is one of my favorite authors. His character, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only female private detective, loves bush tea, not to be confused with Camellia sinensis. Her philosophy about the power of tea, Rooibos or otherwise, will be very familiar to tea lovers:

"The world, Mma Ramotswe believed, was composed of big things and small things. The big things were written large, and one could not but be aware of them -- wars, oppression, the familiar theft by the rich and the strong of those simple things that the poor needed, those scraps which would make their life more bearable; this happened, and could make even the reading of a newspaper an exercise in sorrow. There were all those unkindnesses, palpable, daily, so easily avoidable; but one could not think just of those, thought Mma Ramotswe, or one would spend one’s time in tears -- and the unkindnesses would continue. So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?" From "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive"

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