No. 17 - On simplicity

The farther into my life journey I travel, the more I appreciate simplicity. One notebook for (nearly) everything, simple joys (see last week's post), simple lines in design, simple, yet beautiful, cups of tea. A simple life calls to me. If it also calls to you, let's walk the road together - just give me 5 minutes to make a cup of tea ...


I will admit to being an ardent Marie Kondo fan. I picked up her book "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up" shortly after it was released and immediately redid my sock drawer. Go ahead, chuckle - or perhaps you are nodding in complete agreement because you too have simplified life through socks, I can't be the only one! My socks stand there folded and ready (yes, folded because socks are happier folded than balled), and this small oasis of organization makes my mornings that tiny bit simpler so I may spring forward into the day with just a little more serenity. Maybe a sock drawer isn't calling to you, but where is one space in your home where a little simplicity could introduce more serenity into your every day? Grab a cup of tea, have a walk around and spark a little serene joy.


"Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains."
- Steve Jobs


A cup of tea with a five minute pause to sit and get grounded may be the simplest thing we can do for our well-being. As we move fully into gardening season, it is nice to have some simple herbs around that we can turn into a fresh tea or other well-being support. One of my all-time favourites is lemon balm. Melissa officinalis is a cooling plant of the mint family - you can tell because the stems are square. It has beautiful lemony aromatics and has been used for thousands of years as a powerful relaxing herb. Fresh leaves can be used as a poultice to relieve insect bites or infused in oil and made into a lip balm with antiviral properties. Nourishing and flavourful, it is a summer go-to as a salad topper and a marvellous addition to a fish dish. Being of the mint family, it is super simple to grow in the yard (it will spread), balcony pot, or on a windowsill. Plus, the bees love it!

For a simple twist on a traditional Morrocan mint tea, steep a pot of green tea (I recommend our Chunmee, a classic from the Zhejiang Province of China), strain off and, to the liquor, add a enough fresh lemon balm leaves to fill the pot. Bring the tea with leaves back to the boil and steep another 5 minutes. Sweeten to taste with a little honey and enjoy!

One more thing...

"I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin"
- Somewhere Only We Know, Keane

Until next time,
Steep Calm.

No. 17 - On simplicity
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