Tea is one of my most sustaining moments of any day. It connects me to so many moments from my past, and I know it connects me to my future.

I remember my Dad every morning drinking a cup of Lipton tea out of his personal mug. I’d know he was awake by the sound of the kettle whistling; bleary-eyed I’d walk out of my room down the hallway and into the kitchen. My slippers would make little swish-swish sounds on the linoleum. By the time I reached the dining table, I could hear the news on quietly in the background. Without looking up from his newspaper, he’d slide the comics over to me, and I’d sit down in the chair next to him reading my comics and “sneaking” sips off his tea. Now that my father’s gone, I spend many mornings still drinking Lipton out of his mug; it’s still the first thing I reach for.

Everyone I knew in my family drank tea; my great-grandmother told my mother she was going to be renicarnated as a tea bag.

I never minded being home sick from school. I’d curl up on Great Aunt Sophie’s antique sofa, put some classical music on, drink some tea, and watch the rain fall in Sacramento with a good book on my lap.

Right now, it’s a beautiful day in Portland and I’m drinking a cup of Jasmine Green tea out of an Em Le’s Restaurant mug. It’s a comforting and simple way to connect myself to those I miss, and to ground myself now.

How do you sustain yourself?