My third cup of tea
During a visit to the Bai people, a minority group in the highland of Yunnan, China, we were invited to have not just one cup but three cups of tea in their home. This is the local people' custom. Three cups of tea is to cerebrate three different stages of life.
The first cup of tea is sweet. It contains a variety of fruits and all kinds of sweet flavors. This cup of tea represents the young age, the beginning of life. At this stage, life is nothing but fun, no responsibility, no worries, life is full of adventure, full of love. It really was sweet.
The second cup also has a lot of fruits but it tastes bitter. It represents the adulthood when you will have to be on your own. The responsibility of raising a family, making a living. Working so hard just to keep your head above the water. Sometime, you do feel bitter when you look back.
The third cup is sweet and bitter combined. This is the stage of old age. The kids are grown, on their own. Now you can live off your hard work, no responsibility, no hard work. Now is the time to sit down to sip your tea and remember the past, which has both happiness and bitterness.
I am now in my third cup of tea. If lucky I can live to the average life expectancy. It means I have almost 20 years to go! That is an awful long time to spend reminiscing the past. I will run out of events to remember in no time and I do not like to keep remember the same old thing over and over again. It leave me no choice but keep going and experiencing new things today so tjat when tomorrow comes I will have something to remember by, bitter or sweet, who cares !
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Published on 2/15/05