friday feast: filling 2016 with kindness

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” (James Norwood Pratt)

Hello Friends, Hello Brand New Year!

It’s nice to be back, breathe a sigh of relief, and settle into a winter of quiet contemplation after a busy holiday season.

I’m a hibernating homebody by nature, likely part-bear, so I thrive on days when it’s too cold to venture out. I’m perfectly content to cozy up with a good book (the towering TBR pile always in view), read, sip sip sip tea, write, and bake (one must always have homemade treats on hand in case Colin Firth or Aidan Turner drops by). 🙂

Two days before Christmas, a beautiful tropical bouquet arrived on our doorstep without a signed gift card. The very long flower box traveled all the way to Virginia from Hilo, Hawai’i, and contained orange and pink heliconia, red and pink anthurium, red ginger, white dendrobium orchids, orange protea, and hala, ti, and monstera leaves.

Who could have sent this little bit of paradise, this lovely reminder of both my mother’s and grandmother’s gardens? This “mystery sender” baffled us for the few days it took for the florist to return my email. Was it an old school friend, a long lost relative, a secret admirer? It was fun dreaming up all kinds of scenarios.

What a joyous surprise to discover it was my Aunty Esther, who used to bake those wonderful butter cookies so many Christmases ago. I’ve been blessed with many good aunts, and Esther was always one of the kindest and most thoughtful. Out of the blue, a generous gesture — making us, so far away, feel loved and remembered.

Cornelius thinks M&Ms stands for mmmmmmmm

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