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Family valued 6.8.05

Tea for two

As a traveler, I have experienced tea ceremonies from many cultures. The Russian Tea Ceremony is not only a cultural tradition, but a strong communicational bond for the society. The structure of the teapots themselves --- usually 2 to 3 containing different herbal and black teas --- is reminiscent of distinct Russian architecture (think onion dome).

For the Chinese, drinking tea is an integral part of a wedding day, much like the tradition of champagne toasts in the Western matrimonial tradition. During the day, newlyweds serve a variety of teas to honor family members, show respect, and to bless the marriage.

Among the Arctic's reindeer people, I found tea drinking to be an oddity. While members of the society vied for the thick, dark coffee grounds that settled in the pot after a vigorous brewing, I was content with Lady Earl Grey tea, served in a bone china teacup, my one luxury so far from home. I could only dream of the small pastries with clotted cream, scones, and crumpets of a British afternoon tea. The memories saved many a frigid afternoon during the dark time on the tundra.

These memories were the impetus for a program that the Central Library will host June 11. Come hear a program on the decorative and culinary properties of tea and share some locally grown herbal teas at a tea tasting. Be inspired to start your own family tea ceremony. Tea time --- and not just for two!

--- Carolyn Schuler

This week for families

Brighton Memorial Library storytimes: Mondays 10 a.m. (ages 3-4), 10:30 a.m. (ages 1-2.5); Thursdays 7 p.m. (families) | 2300 Elmwood Avenue. 784-5300, www.brightonlibrary.org

Cool Kids Days Fri, June 10. MOONBEAM2EARTH, kid rock, Sagawa Park, corner of Erie and Main Sts, Brockport, 7 p.m. Free. 637-3984

Fathers' Leadership Academy Thursdays, through June 29. Parent Center, 30 Hart St, 6-8 p.m. Free. 262-8456.

Henrietta Public Library storytimes: Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. (preschool). 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7092

Rubber Duck Race Festival Sat, June 11. Main Street Lift Bridge at the Box Factory, 6 N Main St, Fairport, 11 a.m. Free, $5 to adopt a duck. 223-8369

Spring Suzuki Violin Concert Sun, June 12. young violinists from Park Ave Suzuki Center, Twelve Corners Middle School, 2643 Elmwood Ave, 2 p.m.

Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood --- a Hands-On Exhibit, throughSept 5. Hours: Mon-Thur 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700, www.strongmuseum.org

Summer Arts in Action Program Scholarships summer arts camp for ages 4-12, Hochstein School. 454-4596, www.hochstein.org

Summer Reading Kickoff Wed, June 8. music by Urban Steel, Phillis Wheatley Community Library, 33 Dr Samuel McCree Way, 3-4 p.m. Free. 428-8212

Young Visionaries Awards Program applications due by June 30, Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave, rmsc.org

Life during wartime

"...when we leap out of the constrictions of respectability and cease to care if people see us as woo-woo, suddenly we can think about anything. We expand the range of our inquiry beyond the categories already fixed in our minds." --- Starhawk, The Earth Path

I purchased and downloaded a bunch of '60s music last week, and have been playing it in the minivan. I turned my daughter on to songs like "Lay Down" by Melanie and "Peace Frog" by The Doors. Soon, I found myself describing the nationally broadcast brutality outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and how young Americans shook up the status quo and, with dogged persistence, forced parents and politicians to rethink their worldview and our culture of war.

There's nothing funny about this aspect of how we've turned into our parents. With two-thirds of our nation now agreeing that the war in Iraq is a mistake, why this lethargy? Why this silence?

Number five on Pope Gregory the Great's famous list of seven deadly sins was tristia, or sadness. It was later modified to acedia, which is woefully mistranslated as sloth. Actually, acedia means a deep spiritual indifference --- an apathy born of malaise. This sin has seldom proved deadlier than it is today.

So, child of the '60s, you took to the streets and taught your parents well. Are you too old, settled and tired to teach your children?

"Blood on the rise, it's following me." --- Jim Morrison, "Peace Frog"

--- Rev. Corey Keyes