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We know that all we really have is today. The pandemic has illustrated this fact on a global scale. Our lives and the world can change in an instant. Taking it one day at a time or one moment at a time has become our “new normal”. 

But Japanese author Noriko Morishita reminds us that we should always be living purely in the moment. This bestseller takes the reader on her journey of attempting to master intricate Japan tea ceremonies while trying to work out how to live her life and deal with the misfortunes that come her way.

There are morsels of wisdom sprinkled throughout her 15 essays. In the first chapter, she recounts the very first tea ceremony she reluctantly and arrogantly attends with a cousin. At the end of the essay, she concludes that before learning new anything you must start with acknowledging that you know nothing. “Worthless pride is just unnecessary baggage. You have to cast it aside and empty yourself. Otherwise there is no room to take anything in,” she writes.

In an essay titled Savour the Seasons, she details the sorrow of a broken engagement and the unexpected discovery of new love. In another chapter, she writes about the sudden loss of her beloved father and remarks that you can never prepare yourself before the worst happens, but you can live deeply in the good moments. Despite the many changes that take place in her life, the detailed performances of the tea ceremonies are a reminder to always live the moment.

If you’re a fan of Japan, the descriptions of the culture and food will make you long for an adventure in a foreign land. The book includes beautiful pictures of utensils used in the ceremonies and there is also a glossary of the Japanese tea terms used in the book.