I have a lovely silver teapot. My husband, who owns an antique shop, brought it home from work one day as he thought I would like it – and I did.
When he first brought the teapot home, it looked dull and tarnished. I thought the silver had all been worn off, leaving only the underlying nickel. But the teapot had a lovely shape and feel and so I used it to make tea. It was beautifully designed so that when you poured the tea all the leaves stayed in the pot – no strainer needed – and the tea tasted great.
So I used the teapot every day and as I drink quite a lot of tea, it was handled frequently. One day, after all this handling, I noticed the handle had become shiny and silver.
And I wondered if, underneath it all, the whole teapot was still lovely and silver.
I bought some silver polish and started to rub the teapot gently. As I did, the teapot started to shine. I was now inspired to reveal what I knew lay beneath, and willing to do whatever it took to bring it to light. My husband walked past, and was amazed to see what was being revealed. He said: “I have a product at the shop which will help – why don’t you come and try it?”
So I went to the shop and gently rubbed the teapot, and as it became cleaner and shinier and more and more reflective, a beautiful genie appeared!
Now this was not a great big blue fast-talking genie, but one who was equally capable of everyday miracles. One who could transform a dull teapot into a shining vessel of beauty and grace, that reflected this to all the world.
And what the genie realised as she cleaned the teapot more and more, was that the teapot was a metaphor for her own body.
The years, and life, had left the teapot (and her body) slightly tarnished, on the surface, with a few little dings here and there where life choices had not been so kind to it. But with a little tender loving care, and some dedication and commitment, the tarnish easily came off, leaving the underlying beauty there for all to feel and see.
I brought the teapot home and showed it to everyone with the innocence of a child, and my family were amazed to see how beautiful it was.
I noticed after a day of using the teapot that it had fingerprints on it, and was starting to dull again. With this I realised that it will need to be cared for and cleaned and then rested every day if it is not to tarnish again.
Keeping my teapot clean will be a daily reflection and reminder of love now –and it will reflect to me the care I have been taking with it – and with myself – every time I stop to have a cup of tea.
In every moment, and in every action, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant, we are offered another gorgeous opportunity to learn from life.
by Anne Malatt, woman, wife, mother, grandmother, Australia
How True Service First Begins With Caring for Self