Arts and Entertainment

Oak Harbor tea party aims to bring out beauty

Oak Harbor resident Melissa Duffy enjoys green tea while sitting at a picnic table inside the Smith Park gazebo. She will be hosting a public tea ceremony this Sunday, Aug. 14. - Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor resident Melissa Duffy enjoys green tea while sitting at a picnic table inside the Smith Park gazebo. She will be hosting a public tea ceremony this Sunday, Aug. 14.
— image credit: Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor resident Melissa Duffy has desired holding a tea ceremony at Smith Park for some time. She wants to bring back some pioneer traditions like holding summer citywide picnics in the park.

The idea was born last December when Duffy was given a gift certificate to Oak Tree Antiques. She purchased beautiful, hand-painted Occupied Japan teacups.

“While drinking from these cups I began to reflect upon the artists who worked the clay to shape these delicate, beautiful vessels,” Duffy said. “What were the thoughts and feelings of the people who painted these? Did they enjoy themselves as they fashioned these utilitarian works of art? The designs are so intricate, the colors striking and vivid. Hopefully, crafting these cups was more often than not a pleasurable experience. Yet, while these artists were alive they must also have personally experienced massive changes and losses. War had brought devastation and tragedy to lives of both American and Japanese soldiers and families.”

Duffy said she began drinking tea from the cups when she needed to escape the chaos and tragedy of life and said the warm tea gave her a sense of comfort after she went through a time of personal loss and transition.

This Sunday, Aug. 14, she’s inviting women to join her for a tea ceremony at Smith Park under the theme of “After Loss and Tragedy, Bringing Beauty into the World.” A gathering circle will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a ceremonial washing, sharing of sweet treats, silent reflection and sharing of tea and stories.

“It’s a time to come together and reflect on beauty in spite of everything,” Duffy said. “No matter what’s happening in life, we’re here to bring forth beauty, and if we can’t bring it forth, we can at least admire it.”

Call Duffy at 679-1255 if you’d like to attend or can bring tea, utensils or food to the event.

 

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