Monday, September 26, 2011

The Hand that Picks


Woman's Hand, showing me the tea she's just picked
Huo Shan Village, Yellow Tea

Dear blog friends,
Wow - this re-entry thing is taking longer than I had anticipated.  I'm finally rested and sorting through all kinds of things: laundry, treasures, gifts, memories, happiness to be home, sadness that the trip is over.  And on top of that I'm integrating into my daily life, not-so-eagerly anticipating the return to work, sharing concerns of family and friends, etc. 

I don't know where to start or how to piece this trip out, and I'm not one usually prone to writer's block.  So I will begin with what is most vivid in my mind, and that is the lives of the people who work the tea fields.  The photo above is among my favorites.  Notice the dirt under her fingernail, the pretty silver band she wears, the lines in her hand, the vibrancy of the green leaf.  It's all there - the hard work, the beauty in it, the struggle, the love, the tea that sustains this community.  It was a privilege to be taken to these fields and see, for a brief moment, how these people connect with me.  They pick the teas that I drink.  That I will never, ever forget.


10 comments:

artandtea said...

I am in awe. What an amazing experience that must have been for you, Steph. Gorgeous photo that speaks volumes. I'm looking forward to reading of your journey.

{ T G L } said...

Incredible. And thank you for doing something very important: connecting us to the producers of our tea and giving hem a face and a voice. I look forward to hearing more about your travels and good luck finding your balance again!

This Good Life

MQ said...

This is a quality photo and blog entry, Steph. I hope it makes it into your book. Welcome back. I look forward to your sharing.

Marilyn said...

Breathtaking photo! I love your words describing this beautiful hand. What an awesome trip. It would indeed take a while to come down from it and acclimate to life at home.

Linda J. said...

I am so happy that you had the fabulous opportunity to travel on this amazing journey!

Get Natured said...

What a lovely photo! It sounds like you had a life-changing trip!

Time Traveling in Costume said...

You point out many things that I wouldn't have noticed, or taken for granted. I can see why that would leave such an impression on you.
Welcome home.
Val

Patti H said...

Thanks for putting into words the essence of our tour - the love and care that goes into each cup we enjoy.

parTea lady said...

What a tremendous trip. I can understand why enjoying a cup of tea will never be the same again. Great photo too.

Angela McRae said...

Great photo and thoughts! I am sometimes humbled when I think of how breezily I drink my tea each day and yet there is all this effort that goes into getting that tea from field to table. I hope you take all the time you need to process this wonderful trip!