So I make my way to the Javalina Coffee House in the middle of town, where I order a pot of Blue Lady Black tea (flecked with blue cornflower petals), and find a comfy chair among the sun-dazed, slow-moving, colorfully-dressed humanity in this college/mining/ranching town. I let my tea steep while I send some emails before jumping into the pleasure of editing a friend’s paper on the environmental benefits of green roofs, green walls and street-side planting in urban areas. Given the right material, editing is just fun, employing many of the same muscles as writing, but with less crankiness. I've been entrusted to help tell the story of how everyday plants and humble water, on sufficient scale in rooftop, wall and sidewalk gardens, can transform city climates.
Here, where the sun blares as in a dream, they also don’t know from mass shootings, and the newspaper by the register jolts me from an otherwise ridiculously happy morning. A community in Oregon is ravaged, and a whole country is scarred, because a mass murder taints all who learn of it with helplessness, rage, humiliation and fear. Who can make sense of our species? I return to my editing, counting on the power of vertical and horizontal plantings, water capture, and parallel sentence structure to restore and transform.
Black Tea with Milk
You will need:
Black tea of your choice
Milk (cream, half-and-half, soy creamer, even - heaven forfend - rice or almond milk)
Heat the water just to a rolling boil. Steep the tea for 3-5 minutes. Add milk to taste. Tea with lemon is a reliable friend, but tea with milk is your favorite elegant aunt, the one with the lingering trace of old-world accent, genteel manners and inevitable right word for any occasion, in whose presence you feel honored to listen and learn.