The tale of the tea-set I inherited from my (late) Nana Pat

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A divine little Royal Albert tea set has been a longstanding family heirloom gifted to me by my (late) Nana Pat. I adore it for the generational treasure that it is. However, until recently it had been in a display cabinet with other prized possessions behind glass, for years!!

To be honest, I have always felt anxious about using it in case it gets marked or chipped. And the threat of it ever being lost or broken brings panic. It’s something which I was conditioned to believe ought to be kept for ‘good’. Alas, I was failing to see the ‘good’ in the blessing that is everyday life. Something my Nana left behind all those moons ago.

The truth about my tea set is that in a display cabinet it doesn’t bring me daily sentimental joy unless I actively go looking for it and search it out. I feel like the time has come that I want to take the risk and make it part of my daily mindfulness ritual and life, because there is an equal if not greater risk in never enjoying it to its fullest.

Now when I have a coffee each morning, I remember my dear Nana and everything beautiful in life we shared that I was gifted. She has such a massive heart and our special relationship blessed my life. I have such fond memories of her home in North East Victoria’s Beechworth township.

As kids we would play on the parks big rock, collect pinecones and try to catch a glimpse of the prisoners at the old gaol. And then when dusk fell it was time to race our sticks in the waterflow beneath the bridge.

That water has since all but run dry but little did I realise that it’s exhilarating but slow mowing current was a parallel for our lives flowing, spinning, dodging, racing and frolicking until eventually one day it just stops.

My dear Nana who could swing an axe like no other 70+ year old woman you’d ever meet. She was funny, smart (a trained nurse back in the day), fiercely independent and hugely community spirited. Among her extra-curricular activities, she cleaned the local Catholic parish and presbytery, took Senior Citizens to church, worked for St Vincent de Paul organizing food hampers and delivered meals on wheels in her own little blue Ford Laser that I later inherited and fell in love with as a first car.

My Nana was very well known and loved in the community and I was blessed to grow up with some treasured times of jumping in bed with her and listening to ‘Macca on a Sunday morning’ on an old transistor radio. The chooks and an old dog Hokey  next- door made for perfect background. I’ve had a bit on my plate (so to speak) and mind lately and it got me thinking about treasures. And to be honest, the biggest treasures in my life are fond memories of good times with loved ones, like those prompted by my dear late Nana’s tea-set.

I was always taught to physically save beautiful things ‘for a special occasion.’ But the truth is that since I have owned it I haven’t found one occasion special enough to justify using that beautiful little tea set. All these years it has been on display and kept ‘for good’ behind glass. Including when I’ve had Mum around for coffee, plenty of celebrations and other days where I could really have benefited from a prompt reminder of good memories past.

But, things are about to change because I am calling it that THE special occasion has finally arrived! And it’s a blessing we know as life. In all its beauty and fragility, it deserves to be revered and celebrated daily with whatever makes us happiest. Like, for example, drinking our morning coffee out of my late Nana’s divine little Royal Albert tea set while reflecting on the fun and adventures we shared.

My dear Nana was a pragmatist and I daresay she’d be all for that level of practicality. I was blessed to have her in my life. And I owe it to her to make the most of this opportunity I have been gifted and follow her big heart I gratefully inherited. I’m looking forward to the many coveted coffee dates each morning from here on with the beautiful tea set gifted to me. Which is as you were- an absolute treasure in life, a pleasure and glorious gift worthy of actively celebrating. And not merely from behind a glass panel when an opportune occasion may or may not arise, but rather all of the precious time.

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