A friend invited me to tea, seven years ago. Last week, I finally met him for tea, at the Secret Garden in San Francisco on Lincoln Street. I felt as though I had stepped into a London Tea Shop, complete with a serving of High Tea, and the scones were absolutely divine, not to mention the butter and jam… and of course, the company was also so inspiring… Great Scott! How it took seven years to finally go to tea with an old friend, life just gets in the way, sometimes. Anyway, luckily we are still awfully good friends, (as long as I am writing, says he).
I was very surprised at how nice it was, and I can recommend this little bit of Britain to anyone who loves tea, crumpets, dainties and a quiet space to reflect and savor the tea of your choice. Once enscounced in our tea and lady sandwiches, we spoke of many things, and through this discourse I became so inspired to go back to writing a piece that happened to me twenty-one years ago. Way back when, in 1989, is a piece of time like non other in my life, because it is a story about a journey that I took, after moving across the US, with a cat, and a few belongings, to live on Long Island. By taking the wrong turn on a road, up the wrong the driveway, I made a connection with a person in the earliest days of my arrival which changed my life and my thinking forever. My tea friend reminded me that this story must be written, because now is the time it most definitely would make a difference. Moving has all the elements of change, surprise, making new connections, all life flows through the connections we make and how we live our lives. Waiting 21 years to write this and waiting 7 years to go to tea, are almost comical, but in reality one gets perspective on the past by living past it. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to write or go to tea in both of those instances, what is it that has changed my mind… Time, flow, perspective, perhaps it is the desire to tell a unique story.
Copyright Helen Holden-Gladsky, 2010