last sunday in banff 2009

it has been countless chains of counting recently. the end of the year crunch. things wrapping up, things starting, things that are about to start and things that are progressing. and this is the last sunday in banff residency 2009 and i am sitting in my favorite cafe, communitea in canmore, drinking my favorite black tea (it's called market spice tea and i have been mail ordering it all the way from toronto during the spring and summer. like a proper addict, i am very glad that i have acquired some...)

and yes, this is it. the winter has came and you can feel that from the air- much sharper and clear. it's going to drop down to -25 'c tomorrow morning, as confirmed by the senior audio monkey. brr. cold. cutting. lovely. the time when you can really feel the warmth of another person near by, the warmth that can be felt from the proximity. in the midst of the still air, occasionally broken by the razor-sharp edged wind. and the flakes of frozen water, all in different formations and shapes, floating, flying, melting, being born, all in the thin air.

the morning lights have been spectacular, especially this morning. all bright and i couldnt wake up for some reason, but when i did open my eyes, it was all golden. but of pale gold, not the mature amber brown tinted gold of the late autumn, but of the still-posed hibernation gold. pause. a grande pause.

i have came to this tea shop so many times this year, almost every sunday last term with different musicians and different concerts. and there always have been this excitement of escape- out, to somewheres different. the banff ctr is great, but it does get super saturated and it's always nice to be able to walk away from it, just to return with proper appreciation for the beauty it holds. mostly, people.

this market spice tea is black-tea based, infused with sweet citrus,cinnamon and cloves. it's the kind of tea that needs time to steep, longer than usual, i say no shorter than 5 minutes. a full five minutes. it's a quite a bit of time to wait for a cup of tea, you may think. but the magic does take place after five minutes. it becomes incredibly fruity, sweet and mellow. dark as the deepest and oldest sequoia tree barks. thick, real. and yes, when you have tasted it when it is properly steeped, there is no way to go back and do it any other way!! and that happens only if you wait that crucial five-plus minutes. *mr bookbomber, i got you some stash as well...

and in a sense, im really learning to appreciate the slowness of life. the spaces are all the sudden much more predominant, alive and enjoyable. beautiful. and i hope to take this with me- the slow progression of time. js's blessing. mr. bearcub's encouragement. mr. banffmagic's cheering. the horselady's affections. mr. bookbomber's occasional inquiries of rhetorical sorts. mr. salamander's fragments in the window. even the serious boss' approval. and all the human relationships with everyone around me- bert the piano technician who i love dearly, lovely julie who is my moral and lovely support, and the list goes on and on...

so as i sip this tea, and hopefully take a tin with me before it's all gone to others ( ! ), i will let the numbness of cloves permeate my senses, through my nose, on the top of my tongue and even through the warmness of the hands as i hold onto my dear cub- i am always going to be able to return back to this pause of the time- to this moment in my life, and be immersed in the redness of the tea. the redness that is brewed from all the love and humanistic aspects of my life. the bits that transcends over the biological needs of living. because this tea is no longer just a cup of tea. it's a moment in my life. that took at least five minutes to steep.

proper, isnt it nice?


  1. i love market spice - you describe it so vividly. lovely thoughts, happy.
    just one cup of tea defined a special moment for you to keep; it's strong stuff. proper!

  2. Hello,

    Love this post! You are the reason I created the communitea. Thank you.

    All the best on your journey & thanks for sharing your time at the cafe.

  3. marnie, how nice to hear from you!
    thanks for having such a wonderful space.
    we are all so fortunate to share some real beautiful things in life,
    as i am holding the market spice tea in my hand at this moment :)

    see you soon!!!