Thursday, December 4, 2008
The old linden tree
After a few minutes of observation and several neatly shaped clouds of smoke, he would tell me how many days before the linden flowers are going to be ready for picking and drying - for year-round supply of delicious tea that (at least in my experience) provides more warmth to your body than any other herbal tea.
The picking of the linden flowers took a few days and he would always start on the south side, where the leaves reached that mature golden color which meant they were filled with sunshine to the max and ripe, first.
Drying was also a delicate process because my grandfather wanted to keep every fragile linden flower whole, without crumbling. Just with as much caring attention as he was paying to the linden tree before picking the flowers, he was now supervising the drying process.
I am quite sure that winter was my grandfather's favorite time of the year. Small farm was a lot of hard work from dawn till sunset. Only in winter he was able to sit next to the welcoming wood-burning stove, smiling while reading an article about a distant country in the newspaper and enjoying a cup of his linden flowers tea.
This memory leaves me wondering if my grandfather was smiling like that because he was cozy and warm, because the newspaper story reminded him of something pleasant, or was it the mildly sweet taste of home-grown and home-made linden flowers tea that was making him feel so happy and relaxed.