Guilty Pleasures


Three days past being snowed in and I was walking in the woods this morning.  The temperature was warm enough, even though the pond is still frozen over, to have a cup of tea on the back porch.  I had been watching a flock of wild turkeys forage under the birdfeeder from the kitchen window.  After they left I moved outside to a chair in the sun to watch the rest of the morning's eastern light make its way over the ridge through the poplars and rhododendron.  I spotted what appeared to possibly be a snake skin hanging from one of the upper trees and decided to investigate.  It was not a snake skin but a piece of bark oh so cleverly disguised.  By then I was in the woods and how very good it felt.  I laid down on the dried leaves.  They kept the moisture of the last snowfall from me for an hour or so.  How fine to be with the young pine growing a couple of feet away.  So green, my god it was green.

Teddy the Cat joined me at some point to roll, rub and purr.  After the both of us were thoroughly leaf covered we made our slow way back.  A fresh and lovely mullein was growing near the path we took.  What indifference the mullein has to any and all extremes of temperature.  I found a leaf that had recently parted from the rest of the plant and brought it in for a cup of tea.  Delicious, the cup is by the keyboard and I'm drinking it now.  Interesting, to me, that the mullein is of serious benefit to the lungs.  Back in the day when fuel was mainly burning wood I'm sure it was gratefully used by the health conscious (all that smoke) as well as those simply thirsty for a fresh and green thing drink in the middle of winter.

And so the morning's walk began and ended with a cup of tea.  The first brewed from leaves from the part of the world I would pop out in if I managed to dig my way straight through the earth.  The last only a few feet from the kitchen.  Another guilty pleasure in that first cup's carbon footprint.  All the same, trading tea leaves has got to be better than trading guns and it's good to know your neighbor.  Even if they are half way around the world.