Every teapot has a story [or stories] to tell, and today's post is a beautiful story about Lina Liu's Blossoms & Butterflies teapot. The story is just too good not to share. For a visual I photographed the teapot and teacup that's part of my personal collection.
Lena Liu is a talented, well-known artist who began painting as a child in Taiwan. She came to the United States in 1972 and currently lives in Potomac, Maryland. Her artwork isn't limited to canvas. She has also done porcelain artwork and partnered with Teleflora Gifts in the 1980's to design teapots and teacups for their Flowers in a Gift. Lena loves nature, so her teapots focused on birds, butterflies and flowers. In a quote at her website she said, "...I let what touches my heart pass through my fingers."
Whether you believe the dead can communicate with the living or not, certain things [butterflies in particular] can still remind the living of their departed loved ones.
Dave Duey, the restaurant's Director of Operations, enjoys going to estate sales on his days off. Last year, he found Lena Liu's Blossoms and Butterflies teapot at an estate sale and brought it to restaurant to be put into tea service.
Fast forward to last Sunday, February 21st. Steven, a conscientious server, works with me during tea time, and is always the head server for tea when I'm not there. Since I don't normally work Sundays [religious preference], he was in charge last Sunday. Yesterday he asked if I noticed the butterfly teapot was missing. I asked if it had a tea fatality. "Oh no," he said. "Something much better!" Here's the story he told me.
Preparations for a wedding were taking place and the bride was in one of the rooms having her make-up applied. She asked if it was possible for her to have a cup of tea. The request was given to Steven, and he steeped the tea in the Blossoms and Butterflies teapot. He placed it on a tray along with a teacup, and took it to the room where the bride was seated in front of a mirror. As he approached, she could see the teapot in the mirror and burst into tears [unintentionally undoing her freshly applied makeup]. Surprised and bewildered by her sudden tears, he asked what was wrong.
The bride explained her mother wouldn't be at her wedding because she had passed away. But as soon as she saw the butterfly teapot she knew her mother was conveying the message that even though she wasn't there in person, she was there in spirit. Purple was her mother's favorite color, the color of the teapot's handle and spout, a symbol her mother was pouring out her love and blessing on her wedding day.
One can't help wondering why Steven specifically chose to use the Blossoms and Butterfly teapot from the many other teapots we have in service. It definitely gives credence to departed loved ones using butterflies [in any form] to convey a message.
Steven said news of the incident quickly spread to all the staff members and reached Dave's office. When he heard it, he told Steven to give the teapot to the bride as a keepsake of her wedding day and a reminder that even though our loved ones may no longer be with us, their love always remains.
I couldn't think of a better post to end the month of February - the month of love - than this teapot story. I hope it warmed your heart.