Letters from Victoria: Invitations Led by a Single Grace Note

Tea and Flowers

Although grand occasions certainly have their place on the social calendar, setting the mark too high for everyday entertaining can result in missed opportunities for welcoming people into our lives. Time does not always allow for a full expression of hospitality, but connections can still be forged if we let singular moments of beauty open the door.

My mother-in-law once planned a garden party to commemorate the blooming of her evening primrose. Guests gathered at twilight to enjoy a casual menu, and just as darkness fell, they were treated to a spectacular nature show when a profusion of blossoms began unfurling their petals.

The ease of this fête encourages me to celebrate similar treasures. Discovering a new recipe for blackberry cobbler can prompt an invitation to my neighbor for dessert. Perhaps she will bring a favorite loose-leaf blend, and we can assemble the dish together while the tea steeps. Fresh-plucked heirloom tomatoes bursting with summer flavor; an antique-transferware platter perfect for displaying bakery goods; the enchanting hours of late afternoon that render the landscape luminous—even the simplest of gifts can inspire us to reach out if only we understand that joy is amplified when it is shared.

—Melissa Lester, Associate Editor, Victoria magazine

Find glimpses of loveliness at Melissa’s blog.

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