Teatime Story: The Steady Tortoise
Brew up a cup of your favorite tea, and enjoy this teatime story written by our staff member Jordan:
Tortoise was slow in everything he did. Every morning, he carefully made his bed, tucking the corners in crisp creases. When he showered, he made sure to scrub the back of his shell with soap and a bristle brush. Breakfast was two strawberries, five elderberry leaves and a cup of green tea. He ate slow and read the newspaper slow.
After breakfast Tortoise strapped his paints and brushes and easel to his shell and headed to the park. He was working on a grand painting to showcase local scenery for the city library. His current piece, of a pond that he was fond, was two years in the making. In fact, he had been working on it so long, the library was sure it would not be finished, and decided to commission other artists for the space. This did not bother Tortoise.
Even though it took him a long time to make a simple brush stroke, he felt this made the time it took even more valuable. As he concentrated on the light playing on the water’s surface, and made small additions to his large canvas, he felt good and sure that he was on the right track, that he was working as he should, that soon (and most things that felt long to others felt soon to Tortoise) he would be done and proud to have made something big and beautiful.
One Sunday, Tortoise visited his friend Hare. Tortoise liked Hare, and Hare liked Tortoise. They were both painters, and both grateful for someone to share and talk with. Hare was the complete opposite of Tortoise. Where Tortoise was slow, Hare was fast. He would flit from painting to painting, speed sketching surreal shapes that only hinted at final forms, littering his studio with half-finished pieces.
But Tortoise was secretly jealous of Hare. Every stray sketch, and there were hundreds of them, some Hare simply threw away to make more space, showed signs of greatness and beauty. Tortoise did not envy Hare’s habits, though. Hare would often paint through the night, forget to eat and always seemed startled when someone came calling. He did not follow the news. He knew little of the world.
Today when Tortoise saw Hare, he had dark circles under his eyes and talked fast and disjointed, like he was hopping from thought to thought. Tortoise found him difficult to follow. As Tortoise left, Hare told him, almost as an afterthought, that some of his work was being displayed at the library. Tortoise was surprised and, deep down, wished it was his work being displayed at the library. But he congratulated Hare and was happy for him.
Tortoise went to view Hare’s work at the library. He quite liked it. He looked at it a long time. But he felt relieved, because like all of Hare’s work, there was something unfinished about it. He felt like Hare’s art was just visiting the library. That it would only take the library seeing Tortoise’s painting of the pond to understand what was right for the space all along. That unlike Hare’s work, his would feel permanent.
The next morning Tortoise made his bed, scrubbed his shell in the shower, and slowly sipped his tea. He felt fresh and calm. He still had a long way to go, but he was keeping steady, and knew he would get there in the end.
Jordan Shofner is part of the Fusion Teas TEAm in McKinney, Texas. He has long had a love for writing, only surpassed by his love for tea. His favorite tea is Fusion’s Matcha, straight and pure!