There is a quiet clearing in the bamboo forest behind my house with a
table and chair that were hewn from a fallen log almost 2 decades ago.
An old wooden swing on frayed ropes hangs off the tree limbs nearby
and the sun pours through the leaves. It’s a magical spot. I have
dreamed of sharing tea there from the moment I stumbled upon it--of
midsummer full moon gatherings drunk on ancient sheng puerh and wool
blankets in the crisp Autumn leaves with steaming pots of chai and
Because of the way the hills lie and the roads wind, I didn’t realize,
until after we had moved into our house, that this abandoned gathering
place is on the way when I walk to my parent’s house or to see my
friend Molly. It turns out that my secret meadow is right in the
middle of one of the most familiar places I know. Seeing it from a
different perspective, with presence and without expectations, it
Often, when I walk the trails in Nashville’s Edwin and Percy Warner
parks, the same ones I’ve been walking for over 30 years, I pretend
that I am in a misty tea forest in China or watching waterfalls in
Japan. It helps me practice presence, to see my surroundings with open
eyes. Isn’t it perspective and presence that make travel so thrilling?
Presence turns the mundane into meditation and helps us find beauty,
or a thrill, if you are like me, in what we already have. Presence, I
have realized, is the ultimate escape.
I moved home to Nashville in 2007, after spending my 20’s on a nomadic
tea journey... always searching for the next best adventure, tea and
town. I had tea companies in Montana, Alaska, New Zealand and
Australia before finally moving home to start one in Nashville and
lived in a tent, a tipi, a yurt and a straw bail house along the way.
Through the practices of tea, yoga and meditation, I have come to see
that the adventure and escape that I was seeking would always be short
lived until I learned to be in the present, not dreaming of the future
or lamenting the past. The greatest escape is within me, how exciting!
This is part of the magic of tea. The practice of Tea Ceremony, like
yoga and meditation, invites us to be present. The spirit, or energy,
of tea helps open our hearts and minds to the moment, to connect with
our selves, each other and the earth. That is where deep satisfaction
is and that is the story of Nomadic Tea Party. It is an exploration of
the spirit of tea, a look at her journey around the world connecting
people and cultures and sharing love.
Here, we will gather over sweet mint tea in Morocco, Matcha in Japan
and an intoxicating Dian Hong in Yunnan. We will connect
wholeheartedly, experiencing the power of The Leaf. Join me on tea’s