Originally shot using Instagram.

I've been finding myself hovering over the tea kettle around 4 o'clock most days. Though caffeine in the afternoon is usually a bad move for me (and probably the cause of a few late nights recently), I can't help myself. The ritual of making a cup of black tea in the afternoon, the way my family has for decades, is comforting.  

Yesterday, somewhere between pouring the milk and the last sip, it dawned on me. I've been craving this comfort for a reason. Around this time two years ago, my family and I were all processing a pretty substantial collection of losses. The passing of my Nana had hit me particularly hard and she's been on my mind as of late.   

You see, I used to visit her as much as I could, bringing containers of food so she wouldn't have to think about dinner. We'd sit in her living room and chat well into the afternoon, covering mostly familiar ground on the conversation front. Like clockwork -- she would smile at me and say in her British accent, "You know dear, a cup of tea sounds nice." 

She was right. A cup of tea always sounds nice. For those in my family who drink the stuff, the act of boiling water, steeping the tea, adding milk and sugar (though, Nana always noted that she was already sweet enough) and sipping through the steam makes everything seem right in the world - even if just for a moment.

Rituals like this are important. It seems as though they keep us grounded in a way; connected. While I may need to switch to decaf in the afternoons, I'm finding that a nice cup of tea is a ritual worth keeping around.

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Do you all have any rituals that give you comfort or keep you grounded? 


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