birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Morning Bliss

My husband and I are tea people. I'd always enjoyed sipping tea as a child, when my mom would buy biscotti and we'd have tea together at the kitchen table. Usually we had manzanilla, or chamomile, as we were usually sipping before bed and honestly didn't know much about other varieties of tea besides green. Tea time was a rare, romantic before-bed treat.

Three years ago, my then fiance and I took our first trip together out of the country, to London, which we chose out of a hat of options that included Netherlands, Spain, India, Ecuador, and Ethiopia. As an introduction to our (hopefully) lifetime of world travel, London was perfect. And the effects of our trip have been long-lasting.

No matter what time it is, the first thing we do when either of us wakes up is put the kettle on for tea. Sometimes we opt for the coffee pot instead, but mostly we choose tea. We're savvy tea drinkers now, and we've developed some discriminating palates. We know the difference between tea and tisane, can tell a Ceylon from a Darjeeling, and I even did a 21 Days of Tea segment on my little food blog. Every morning I drink my cup of tea with a piece of cake, a muffin, a digestive biscuit, or another type of cookie--they're all biscuits to Brits--and I settle onto the couch in our sunniest room with my journal or some book on writing craft. While the menu strikes me as a rather unhealthy start to the day, this is a rhythm that I really enjoy. It comforts me, and easing into the workday ahead with tea and light reading helps me feel balanced. After my snack of tea, I do some yoga and meditation, eat breakfast, and then start the activities of the day.

Although I could, I wouldn't change this rhythm on purpose. In fact, I've worked hard to cultivate it, and I'm not always good at keeping it. When I fall off rhythm it is difficult for me to get back on track, and I don't feel at ease with the day. It may sound silly, but establishing a morning rhythm as helped me to cope with my anxiety and depression, because I'm starting the day on my own terms with little pleasures that make me happy. These tiny moments in the morning help me to ground myself and put the rest of the day into perspective so that it's at least not so overwhelming.

Little Ways of My Day

Day In, Day Out