So far this year feels a lot like the end of 2016=filled with loss. Though a death of a different kind, the closing of my favorite tea shop makes me mourn.
Pars is run by a reverent Iranian gentleman. I remember stopping in there the morning of the British vote to leave the EU. The owner and his friend, perhaps a retiree because he was often there, were streaming the news on their computer. Together we watched. What could we say to each other? Things come to an end.
Always after my purchase he would look me in the eye and say God bless you. I felt as if I’d entered a confessional and was given forgiveness. I know, I know, it’s just tea, but it means everything to me.
I begged him to stay, to arrange for some else to manage the shop, but he said, no, it’s time. I scanned the shelves, already they were emptying. I quickly filled a baggie with Monk tea, an aromatic mixture of orange peel with hints of vanilla and a spring garden. Where will I now go—on a winter’s day to feel love, to receive mercy? To return home warm and cozy, with subsistence?? The stuff of life . . .