Another rainy saturday and a piece of my heart, I hope you like it.
“The Thing about Teacups”
There is a little cafe by a river on the outskirts of the city, popular with the locals for the owner’s extraordinary attention to detail. Against the main wall of the cafe there are these massive wall shelves that almost seem too large for the tiny and crowded shop. The large shelves are lined with teacups of all sizes, colors and shapes. There are the very exquisite teacups and the very simple, the very feminine and the very bold. The amazing thing about this cafe is what happens before you enter. The shop owner is known to keep an eye on the door to get a glimpse of his customers and takes great pride in pairing them with the perfect teacup. Now, I don’t know if it is just the excitement surrounding his very peculiar custom or a true knack for choosing the perfect cup, but having someone take such great care in serving you coffee has the ability, even if it is just for a brief moment, to transforms you.
I don’t have a massive wall shelve of teacups but I do have an entire cupboard, I’d love to say that I have bought these teacups with as much care and detail as the shop owner puts into his, but the truth is I drink my coffee from a mug. The teacups are my mother-in-law’s, mementos she has collected thought an entire lifetime. Her oldest teacups are traditional Japanese red and gold and hand-painted with swans. Next, come the victorian teacups that she purchased when she was a young mother and liked to watch ‘Anne of Green Gables’ while the kids where at school and my father-in-law at work. Then there are the plain white and highly costly teacups that she purchased after the kids had grown and married and my father-in-law retired. Recently her favorite purchases are gifts for others. Teacups that like that shop owner, she chooses meticulously to fit the person she is giving them to. She has known for two years now that she is dying of cancer and has found a way to continue to enjoy her favorite collection.
I have gone shopping with her when she purchases these teacups, and I know how much she favors white and crisp and simple yet she will glance over just slightly and continue walking. She walks the entire store patiently until she finds the perfect one. She picks it up, inspects it and smiles with great satisfaction. Now, I don’t know if it is her peculiar habit or her uncanny ability to choose the right match but having someone choose to live their last days of life purchasing a gift for you, transforms you. The thing about teacups is that they make a simple cup of coffee, a special moment. Here is a picture of the “teacup” she has bought for me… she knows I drink my coffee in a mug.