This past weekend we had visitors from out-of-state, which is always a good excuse to play tourist in one’s own home town and appreciate what we take for granted. We went to Balboa Park and spent a little time inside the Japanese Friendship Garden, where they were doing short tea ceremony demonstrations. Even though it was the cliff-notes version, it was fantastically refreshing how not vocal it was. We’re constantly surrounded by sound: traffic, alarms, television, leafblowers, etc… and people talking (and frequently saying little). During the Q & A session, the lady performing the ceremony explained that they end by pouring cold water into the tea bowl so that it ends at the same temperature that it began. And every time she ladled hot water for the tea bowl, she always saved a little in the bamboo ladle so that she could pour it back into the pot. If it is quiet enough, you can hear and appreciate the difference between hot and cold water being poured.