When I started “to the forest,” I began a formal journey of intention to explore the lush life behind things unseen, unknown,dark and misunderstood.
I am still on this journey. This journey is a healing journey.
The tree people have been so generous with their wisdom. When I become quiet and receptive, they have a lot to say.
Last time I walked through the forest, I felt a song emerge from my roots and soared out of my mouth.
As a gift of gratitude to the tree people, I offered a song.
I offered a song, and light from the heart.
“Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say.”
The forest is a rich place full of dream shadows and windows of light. There is a fertile soil in darkness, and the shadow world is very much alive on and below the forest floor. Once the life inside this darkness is revealed by light, we can appreciate the rich life in the shadows. The shadow space is always working within us, and it is up to us to have the courage to delve in and shed light into the wisdom of the shadow.
With love, light and shadows, I honor the dance between my fertile shadow dreams and my radiant light body.
This is the dance of existence. The cosmic dance indeed includes light and shadow.
This is what I learn from the forest.
This is a lovely ripe pu erh block I bought from Phoenix Teas in Burien WA.
It is delicious.
Pu erh teas are super healthy tea due to the microbial fermentation process and healthy bacterias that forms inside the cake during the fermentation process. This cake is rich and dark, and when brewed, earthy and a bit malty, yet very smooth to drink.
It’s really a perfect tea to drink outside on a cool fall morning. The smell of the tea compliments the fragrance of the forest. I can’t wait to take this tea with me on some autumn hikes.
Green teas are a staple drink for me. I mostly enjoy green teas in the afternoon, since I can basically drink them until before bedtime and still sleep fine.
This delicious Mao Feng Green tea was perfect drink on a lovely sunny autumn afternoon.
glow trees ©2012 kim crayton
I am not much of a flavored tea fan.
However, I do love SoHo, a flavored black tea from Harney and Sons. This coconut chocolate chinese black tea is not sweet at all. The chocolate flavor adds a great depth and dryness to the finish. The black tea base is slightly malty, and very robust. I also love the pretty pink flowers in the dry leaf.
This morning was, and still is, cool and cloudy. I sat to listen to the birds with a nice cup of SoHo.
This past Saturday I enjoyed a day of tea tasting and education at the Northwest Tea Festival. I participated in a fantastic professional cupping workshop, a taiwanese oolong tasting, and a very informative apprentice tea sommelier class. There were so many teas to taste, and every vendor there had something delicious to share and purchase. Everyone was so knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming; I can’t wait to go again next year.
All this tea tasting, observing, and appreciation has inspired me to drink my tea outside with the trees and capture the beauty of every cup in nature.
Here are some of my photos from my cup of double bergamot earl grey from this morning:
tea with ferns
wet tea leaves: earl grey blend of black teas
Last weekend I went on a Native Seattle tree and plant tour at the Washington Park Arboretum led by local tree and plant expert Arthur Lee Jacobson. I was just blown away by all of his knowledge about trees and plants. He also has a great sense of humor, so there was never a dull moment during the two hour tour.
sitka spruce cones
I noticed how many different specimens were on the ground; cones, needles, nuts, and they were all so exciting and interesting. I came back the next day and collected so many wonderful treasures from the trees.