Or tea (choice is a good thing).
We could perhaps visit the little tea house in the ancient Byodoin temple together?
“What? Travel all the way there?”, you would have said. It’s not so far away, the little town of Uji. It has been at the centre of green tea production in Japan for over 800 years… well-worth the 30 minutes by train from Kyoto (and however many hours by flight to reach Kyoto). I would tempt you by saying that they serve the most delicate tea and sweets, knowing that you, like me, wouldn’t be able to resist beautiful Japanese sweets!
We would enter the all-glass tea house that lets in all of that afternoon’s spun-gold light. We would sit at the smooth dark wooden table, silent for a few good minutes, until we had our fill of sun.
Your choice this afternoon would be gyokuro tea, “drops of jade” in Japanese, best enjoyed in small, slow sips. We would be fully conscious that we were sharing a rare moment, both of us together, sharing tea. We usually prefer coffee – the smell, taste and effect are more in keeping with our rush-about lives it seems. Tea, on the other hand, requires another type of resolve… we would have to wait. The tea is even served with an hour glass to let us know when it’s time to sip the fragrant liquid, lest we ruin the potential of the taste with impatience. If only there was an hour glass for all potentially perfect moments, we may give up much less often “five minutes before the miracle”!
With the hot tea between our hands and the aroma of turning inwards filling the air, we would be tempted to talk about the past, to apologize for all the missed miracles and the people we did not manage to become. But we would resist that this afternoon and enjoy the moment.