Santa Cruz, CA
A big rainstorm had hit Santa Cruz, and so my days were spent mostly drinking tea. With a friend I had met in Boulder Creek, we wandered into what we thought was a teashop a block off the main strip. To our surprise, we found we had been transported to an opium den somewhere in Asia – which I later learned is normal for Santa Cruz. David, the tea master, and a number of disciples were seated on short tree stumps around a low table, sharing stories and tea lore passed along from David’s guru, an old man living in the high Southern Chinese mountains. Chinese string music purred on the record player and the rain came down with intensity outside, and with the intensity of conversation on tea as a metaphor for interconnectedness of life, I felt as if I was in a scene in a new age movie that had yet to be written. Maybe that was my task, I mused, as David poured tea over the laughing buddha on the table and heated the water for another batch.