Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kettle Wisdom

It's amazing the life lessons we can learn while preparing tea. Yes, I say PREPARING tea, not to be confused with 1) popping a top, 2) twisting a lid, or 3) emptying a packet of faux crystals. Realizing how quickly all of us tend to speed through our lives' individual moments, we may view taking time to do anything as a luxury rather than a necessity.


Before our current high-tech, electric, temperature-controlled, porcelain enameled versions, teakettles worked very simply:

> Insert water
> Apply heat
> Await signal
> Remove heat
> Pour water

What's so profound? Again, I'm glad you ask, i.e. a very good indicator that you are still reading. Please consider the teakettle itself. The amount of water inserted inside is based on the kettle's volume capacity, so each teakettle has its own limits. Depending on the job size, however, multiple kettles can be put on the stove and readied simultaneously.


Regardless of capacity, there is only one way to produce hot water from cold: apply heat. Heat, i.e. friction, opposition, adversity, etc., results in expansion, growth and progress. Heat also causes internal pressure and that pressure strains, or presses, against the teakettle's very capacity limits. Sometimes we can observe the kettle trembling slightly over the heat source. This is an outward clue of what's occurring inwardly. Something is about to happen.

Then, it happens. A sound. A whistle, sometimes shrill but always loud and unmistakable. This sound calls for attention, indicating the kettle's contents are ready for the next step. In other words, remove the heat.

A teakettle's whistle reminds me that despite how pressured I personally may feel at any given time, I must remain exposed to the heat long enough to become purposefully productive. When that time comes, then release the sound of one who's endured and, therefore, has a right to sing loud and strong.


There's more to a teakettle than its whistle. After the whistle, expect to be poured out. Timing is indeed everything. For example, removing the kettle prior to its siren song may result in lukewarm water, especially unproductive for black tea. Conversely, leaving a teakettle singing indefinitely may cause its contents to evaporate. So,

> Know when to wait
> Know when to sing
> Sing loud enough to release internal pressure
> Expect to be poured out

Go ahead, someone's waiting -- and you have exactly what's needed. Pour it out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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