Monday, July 22, 2013

My Dad, Tea, and the Four of Pents

For years I've been telling people that my penchant for a pot of tea stemmed from a couple of summer weeks spent at my friend Ruthie's cottage.
Life at Breezy Point was my first exposure to the silky waters and cedar-scented paths of Ontario's beautiful Muskoka district.
It was there that I paddled my first wobbling canoe across the moonlit lake to a dance at the pavilion.
It was the first intoxicating taste, my first nibble, at the southern edge of Ontario's vast north.
It was my first up-close-and-personal visit with an unfortunate bat trapped in the bedroom curtain. Much screaming and broom-waving ensued, as you might expect in a dorm-ish room of teenage girls.
I've thought for all the years since then that the gatherings around that vacation teapot at Breezy Point were my intro to tea drinking.

BUT THAT IS AN UNTRUTH! I've been lying all these years. Decades of deceit.
And I realized it this past June 16, Father's Day.

My generous gentle Dad is no longer here to celebrate, and I was feeling that we should have been barbequing steaks with him as we always did on Father's Day. And somewhere in those nostalgic Dad-thoughts, it hit!

My earliest tea-drinking memories are of early breakfasts with Dad, before anyone else was up.

He made milky sweet tea and dipped strips of white fluffy bread into it. And for me, a few spoonfuls of his tea topped up with milk. I was grown-up. My dad's girl. Life was good.

Did I want to share those rare mornings with my little brother? Or my mom? Absolutely not!

Guarding, hoarding, protecting, saving, hiding away from others, fending off - these are what the Four of Pentacles is all about. This you're not invited look from Marcia McCord's Tea Tarot? This girl learned it from me!

Stashing, stowing, keeping for ourselves. Toddlers get this. Just try touching one of their toys.
I don't want it, but I sure as heck don't want YOU to have it!

Mine. Mine. Mine.
If they don't learn how to share by the time they're adults, they might end up like this Four of Coins from Ciro Marchetti's Legacy of the Divine.

Of course there are times when squirreling away is prudent and necessary, as we see in the Four of Earth from Joanna Powell Colbert's Gaian Tarot. If this little creature doesn't set himself up for winter, he's in trouble. So he's allowed to be a hoarder.

Then we have the case of the smugly selfish Four of Pentacles guy from the Anna K Tarot who keeps all manner of things for himself, even when others are clearly in need. Can he really eat all those apples before they rot?
Does he need ALL the gold? ALL the firewood? And does he realize that while he's keeping at bay all the potential moochers he's also isolating himself from...well...everyone. The upside for the sad ones on the wrong side of the fence is that this skinflint is likely to develop a permanent hunch from crouching behind his wall!