Thank you to Nepali Tea Traders for including this beautiful tea with the sample of Masala Chai they sent to me last month. Looking at this tea, the dry leaves are long and curled. When I drop them into the steaming water they move and twirl like a nest of lazing snakes. The smell is clean and airy like a cool spring afternoon with the windows thrown open. After steeping, the leaves have opened just a bit but are still somewhat curled into each other. Both the leaves and the liquid have taken on a roasted quality which I’m greatly enjoying.I’ve been thinking the last couple of days about the people of Nepal, about all they’ve lost. I have to remind myself to be sincere, to be understanding. Nepal is a world away, a place I’ve never seen filled with people I’ve never met. It’s hard to imagine the devastation and destruction when I’m listening to the news in my car or sitting in my kitchen surrounded by safety and comfort. The number lost is astounding to me, incomprehensible even, like it’s so high that it barely contains meaning. What to even compare it to? And as if the people lost are not enough, those who remain have had chunks of their identity and culture taken from them, history crumbling right before their eyes. I have to remind myself to be empathetic, to try to understand what all of this must be like for so many people. The fear and the uncertainty. It’s so easy for me to turn my face, to close my mind. But I don’t want to. I want to connect, to help. Even across this great big world. I know there are ways to give, and I will find them, but until then I’m going to connect in the best way I know how. I’ll drink a cup of this tea, the leaves worked by Nepali hands, and pray for the hurt. I’ll remember and be grateful.