I received a new journal on Mother's Day from my daughter in Florida. It is a leather-bound book with a quote from Mother Teresa on the cover,
"Do small things with great love."
The quote has become my summer theme. I could do small things with great love. Isn't that the way most of us operate? We can only do small things. Some people have greater abilities or chances to do big things, but most of us live our day to day routines doing small things! Sometimes those small things turn into great things to someone else. Perhaps that someone who watched you pick up some litter on the street was so impressed she decided to pick up litter too! Or maybe that time you cooked supper for your sick neighbour meant so much more than you expected and she in turn began a small business of feeding those who are home-bound due to illness.
My summer here on Prince Edward Island has consisted of doing many small things! We have had the pleasure of moving our tea production into 3 rooms in the basement of the Kirk of St. James, an historic church in the centre of town. As a result, we have a beautiful set up for welcoming guests into our facility. We've had tea lovers from Singapore, Vermont, Arkansas, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and many other places visit. It's been fun talking tea news and sharing our love of tea with others. Though we do not have an actual tearoom, we can now offer a cup of tea as people look over our selection.
I was able to take a few Saturdays off from market duties in July thanks to Pascale -- a French teacher from Montreal. She asked me back in January if she could volunteer with my business to give her a total English immersion experience. She was incredible. To her, she was offering a small thing so she could learn English. To me, what Pascale did was huge! She was full of love learning the ropes of the tea business. She was a good friend to Willow, my student employee as she has a daughter Willow's age who was away at camp all summer. Together they manned the Charlottetown Farmers Market booth and loved doing it (maybe that's not such a small thing)!
And then there's our Donna, our senior Tea Team member, who wanted to contribute as a volunteer and has now been coming regularly for three years to help us. We call her our 'bag lady' as she heads up the tea bag manufacturing which we do for B and Bs and some restaurants. My life has been so touched by her wanting to spend time in our 'Abbey' as we call our new location! To Donna, it is a small thing she is doing, but I can say that she does everything with great love. She's amazing, and she bakes the best shortbread in Charlottetown!! Shortbread goes so well with tea by the way, and not just at Christmas.
I was able to babysit my visiting twin baby grandsons for an evening so their parents could visit other family while here for a few short days. My daughter and partner from North Carolina got around in my little car while here. It was just a small gesture on my part. My daughter in Texas also gave birth to my 3rd grandson and I spent an afternoon sewing up some flanelette 'burpee' cloths which is kind of a traditional baby gift from me! She was just as happy to receive the 'burpee' cloths from me as I was to send them. Funny how doing small things with great love can be so satisfying.
I am sure this theme is why I got into the tea business. Certainly my friend and inspiration for the business, Lady Baker, practiced it. It has always seemed to me that making a pot of tea and enjoying it with another or alone fills me with love.
And now the summer sky is just starting to look a bit like an autumn masterpiece. I noticed last evening that the air had a bit of that feel to it, when we know we are heading into another season. It's been a hot summer here and so the cooler breeze is welcome.
Doing small things with great love is not limited to the summer. I plan to extend it on into the fall and the winter and into the rest of my days. I think it is good for the soul to recognize in a humble sort of way, that much of what we do is small, and to do all of these small things with love. If you can share with me some of those small things you have done or have been the recipient of that have changed your day or the day of someone in your life, let's hear it!
My hope is as the summer winds down we can be excited about the small things that lay ahead wherever we are.