Tea with the Birds

There’s a specialness about the the hour around 4.30 on a May morning  in Ireland~ a specialness that I don’t often experience as it is usually my sleeping time.

I’ve no idea what woke me but I knew that sleep had gone out for a while. Natural instinct brings me down to the kitchen, where puppy Stan stirs and looks up at me from the softness of his bed under the table.

Flick the switch on the kettle, pick out my mug with the abstract little red birds sitting on a branch, like a choir getting organised.

I don’t know what it is about the pouring of tea from pot to mug but it is one of the most comforting sounds in the world.  As I creep back upstairs, cradling the hot mug, my mind wanders to Sean Dunne’s  poem ‘The Art of Tea’ in his wonderful collection with the cup and saucer on the cover. These are the lines that resonate as I take the first few sips of the black unsweetened tea:

Drink and feel
the soul flood.

It’s pitch dark outside and a sea mist seems to be enveloping Tramore but I can hear the  cheerful chirping of  the birds in the monkey puzzle tree which stands tall just outside my blinded window.

And to think I miss this precious time practically every day of my life.