Next to the mirror, occasionally accompanied by dirty cups or half-empty cookie boxes, a teapot is peacefully seated. It’s a small ceramic teapot sprinkled by tangled orange flowers. It’s petite and elegant. In its bosom, resting in boiled water, one can often find free leaf tea of endless aromas. The soaking leaves fill the air with a candy-coated smell. The luscious tastes brewed in that tea pot have been shared with many – and although each person that lay eyes on that gentle object feels the serenity it resonates with, few of them actually know the story behind its soothing vibes.
When I was a young girl, I was forced to leave not only my home town – the beautiful Sarajevo – but the entire region. A series of unfortunate events had befallen my family and left us seemingly without hope. But my mother was a brave and strong woman who decided to fight the odds and gather all her spiritual and material wealth and take her children to a new and foreign place where they would lay a claim on the happiness she believed they all deserved. I knew her decision was the right one: radical, difficult – yes, but smart and fierce as well. I collected myself and all I had in me and followed her to a new world where I was promised I could chase my dreams. But chasing dreams isn’t as romantic as it sounds when the chase leads you away from everything you know and love. When I looked at the map, I saw a big patch of land marked as Germany – it was far away, they spoke a strange language there I knew nothing about and I heard it was cold. I heard it was different, that they weren’t “like us”. But I heard people like me made their fortune there before. So I was determined. The months before we finally got on the road were full of tears and heartbreak, full of long goodbyes and grandiose promises of love, hope and ties which distance would never break. But the threads which connected me and my friends were turned from silk to iron on the night before we left. Six kind hearts and gorgeous faces knocked on my door around midnight and surprised me with a gift. It was a simple gift, a small gift – a petite elegant teapot. But it was the most meaningful gift I had ever received. Tea was my sanctuary, my comforting blanked in the cold, my refreshment in the heat, my promise of a better tomorrow on a stressful day. The tastes, the smells, the spices – I knew them all. And my friends knew how much I enjoyed them. They knew I would always drink tea, in all the big and all the small moments. And they wanted to be there with me, always smiling at me through the steam evaporating from the teapot’s nose, reminding me that they were out there and they still loved me, and that some ties are truly unbreakable.