Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Yesterday New England experienced a late winter storm. While the weather outside was frightful, inside the Treehouse Community Center, a group of folks were cozy and warm.

We were celebrating birthdays, life, and each other at our monthly tea. Yesterday’s theme: Valentine’s Day. Attending Tea Time at Treehouse means coming down to the Community Center and being treated to delicious sweet and savory treats, lively conversation, and a good cup of your favorite tea. Tea pots, creamers and sugar bowls are lined up on trays next to an array of black, green, white, and herb teas.

Several of us were humming “Put a Little Love in Your Heart!” while placing a mouth watering fruit tart and chocolate mousse cake on their cake plates. “I hope when you decide kindness will be your guide” we sang as we put two-bite brownies on heart plates.

Since it was a “snow day”, the kids were home from school. They were in and out of the kitchen, asking how to say things in Spanish, grabbing a bite between practicing their guitar playing, and talking about whose birthdays would be celebrated in March.

The atmosphere at Tea Time is always warm and friendly. People browse the buffet, make a pot of their favorite tea, and pull up a chair. Folks of all races, ages, interests, and abilities gather to share the moment. Every month different people show up. Life events, news, and the weather determine the course of our conversation. Yesterday people were discussing the births of grandchildren and great grandchildren, how to play “Happy Birthday” on the guitar, the way to make a proper cup of British tea, and the presidential race.

One lovely young teen, who just received her first guitar, entertained us with a song she wrote. I know she felt our collective pride when she finished singing and put her guitar down. Looking back at her were family members, neighbors, and friends. We were clapping enthusiastically.

As Tea Time wound down, a group of teens and adults retired to the Library to watch Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” video on YouTube. Some of the younger kids followed along to use the computers. One mom sat down and took out her needlepoint. We listened to good music, including someone’s cousin who sang a powerful rendition of an old love ballad. I laughed when his aunt said, “I had NO idea he had such a beautiful voice. He never even sings in the car!”

After a while, we headed back to the kitchen to clean up. Kids and adults grabbed brooms, washed dishes, and straightened up. As I was washing off some tables, I could hear one of the kids softly singing, “Put a little love in your heart baby, put a little love in your heart. And the world will be a better place. Thank you Jackie DeShannon!”

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