Last week was interesting. Very interesting.

Here’s what happened (the short version)…

Here on the southern tip of Africa, we have winter rainfall. So we’re not surprised, upset or worried when storms arrive in their glorious splendor. We embrace the (often gale-force) winds, and celebrate the sheets of rain lashing across our gardens. Surrounding high ground is often left covered in snow.

For us Capetonians, it’s our time to light indoor fires, switch on heaters and open that red wine we’ve been hoarding all summer.

These storms are cleansing after a hot, dry and dusty summer.

And they vary. Some are short and sudden, lasting only a few hours, whilst others are more pronounced. Spectacular even. They release their fury slowly, battering everything in sight. Relentlessly.

Last week, we had one of those. On steroids.

Winds gusting at close to 100km’s arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Torrents of rain followed.

At around midnight, the power went out.

Have I mentioned that I live in a cute little wooden cabin? On a farm? Well, on Tuesday evening it wasn’t so cute. Nope, nothing cute about it at all.

I sat huddled in my blankets in the cold semi-darkness feeling my little home shudder and shake with each renewed blast of wind. Did I mention the cold? It was a new level of misery.

Suffice to say, the storm lasted two days. And so did the power outage.

Yup, that meant no internet. Or cell reception. Or warmth. Life as I knew it ceased to exist.

Now, whilst I could waffle on about how cold, miserable and isolated I felt, that’s not the point of this musing.

Looking back from a place of normality (and warmth) once again, it was my THINKING during this period that I find most interesting.

That first night was bleak. Very bleak. My thoughts were scattered and scared. My busy mind was hurtling along at full capacity, imagining every worst-case scenario possible. I was FULLY engaged in my current reality. And I felt miserable. And despondent.

Reaching for the higher perspective seemed impossible. And it was.

Come morning, the gods took pity and a well-meaning neighbour delivered a gas stove to my door.

Brilliant!

But it wasn’t warm food I was after. Nope, a mug of hot, steamy TEA was my priority.

And that was my turning point. The proverbial shift in thinking.

Because tea is my “coffee”. My panacea. It’s my band-aid. My beacon of light in the darkness. It’s like a warm hug from a friend.

I knew that if I could hold a mug of steamy tea, I would be ok.

Now logically we know tea can’t fix anything.

And it certainly had no effect on the weather. Or the lack of power.

Nope, it’s the IDEA of the tea. It’s what it REPRESENTED for me. THAT’s what shifted my thinking. And soothed me. It inspired optimism.

And knowing more was available at my whim? Yay! I regained a semblance of control.

Such is the power of TEA. Or whatever your personal “tea” is.

Maybe it’s a hug from a loved one. Or a particular song. Or even soaking in a warm bath.

It’s whatever nudges us towards feeling better. And slows our panicked thinking.

Because feeling better is always what counts.

And what shifts our reality.

Every time.