On this day in 28 BC one of the earliest observations of a sunspot was seen by the Han dynasty astronomers in China. In 1869 the first Transcontinental Railroad is completed linking the east to the west in the United States. And in 1908 the very first Mother’s Day is observed in the US in Grafton, West Virginia. Sidney Blower knows very little about these dates and their recorded events, but she does know a thing or two about the sun. You see, on May 10th in 1913 Ms Blower catches the sun and successfully brews it into her new tea.
The idea came to Sidney one night as she sat with her mother and father on the porch of their country home. The sun was starting to set in the distance and it took with it the last of the light her aging parents could see by. No matter how many candles she lit or how she tried to lighten up their home for those dark hours, her parents would see nothing but shadows and this distressed her so. As she watched that sun she wondered to herself if she could capture just a little of it and gift it to her parents so they had a small light in that darkness.
Sidney’s first few attempts were haphazard events that she didn’t like to think about. A sunburn came from one and a sun itch (something she would tell people you had to experience because no words could properly describe the sensation) came from the other. She knew she was onto something though. She just needed to find the right medium to work with.
There came a moment, as Sidney gently led her parents to the dinner table, where her mother reminded her to bring in their sun-tea. The young woman walked back to the porch and picked up the large jar of amber colored water that had been left with a light weave of material filled with loose tea leafs to cure in the sun. Sidney looked at that beautiful thing of tea and knew she could somehow get the sun into that jar better than just using its warmth to brew her tea.
After many failed experiments poor Sidney was starting to feel her ideas were something she couldn’t obtain. She woke to a bright and beautiful May day wondering if she wasn’t a crazy fool to think what she hoped to achieve was possible. Then something happened. Perhaps it was something she’d never be able to take note of, or maybe it was simply the joyish look on her mother’s face as a particularly bright stream of sunlight found her mother’s face… Sidney Bower knew on that day she would succeed.
With a determined step Sidney marched into the field of sunflowers across from her parents’ home. She moved through the slowly growing crop until she found the center of it. Once there she held up a hand to shield her eyes a little. She looked from east to west until she found a slight pulsating motion from the giant orb in the sky. She counted this throbbing and used the young sunflowers to gauge the waves that were coming in. She calculated and calculated and at the last moment decided to let her instincts take over. The young woman’s eyes closed and she held her breath. When the moment felt right she lifted her glass jar of tea to the sky and pulled back the cover.
It’s hard to describe what came next. There was only one person there to witness this event and that witness in question had her eyes closed as she reached for an approaching sun beam and caught it in her tea. All a young Sidney Blower would know was she felt an intense moment of heat and beauty and when she opened her eyes the tea jar in hand was glowing brightly.
There are so many stories that were to come after that strange moment in time. The woman at the heart of it would never add to any of them. All she’d wanted to do was bring the daylight into the night time for her parents and their ailing sight. She had been successful in that when she created her warm glowing tea that thrived from the sun. Every night from that point on her parents would not have to fear the shadows. Sidney would set them a cup of sunlight tea and their eyes would glow throughout the night with the power and warmth of that strange brew.
On this day in tea, May 10th, Sidney Blower captured the sun and brewed it in her tea so that her beloved parents would never be in the dark again.
Pagona Talbot is the daughter of famed alchemist (and a favorite of the ladies) Gray Talbot and a self proclaimed little witch. She’s famous for many of her strange edible potions but her most notorious one is her Punchnersissky Punch, which makes the stomach glow after one drinks it. Pagona has been heard to say this comes from milking fireflies for the punch recipe. In Orange Moon Downs she is the celebrated author of The Book of Tea, which includes tea facts, tea stories and this day in tea.
is copyright 2017 Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved.