I love the delicacy of English Bone China. This teacup is one of my grandmothers, now my mothers. On the other side is a lovely southern belle walking through a garden, an image that has fascinated me ever since I can remember. This teacup is one that I would always dream about as it sat on the display shelf that my father built for the family teacup collection, and when I was allowed to hold it when we washed all of the teacups, I would cradle it gently and get lost in the beautiful gold vines. I always thought that if I touched it too much it would shatter in my hands.
Now that I am older, and hopefully a little wiser, I sometimes use a similar teacup for my afternoon tea. Would I be sad if it broke? Sure. But I get more pleasure out of using one of my bone china teacups than I do letting it gather dust on display.
Bone china is amazingly strong, even though it appears delicate. A true bone china piece is strong enough to hold the weight of a full grown man - I wouldn't want to test that myself, but I've seen pictures and demonstrations! - so I am no longer so afraid. In fact, I see the reflection of my own and my friends and family's lives in the translucent beauty of a bone china teacup. We are all so delicate on the surface; we cry and laugh together at the drop of a hat, we gather to hold each other up. But we are stronger than we seem. We have survived (collectively) divorce, rape, abuse, betrayal, illness, deaths of those we love, and other difficulties; and still we stand strong.
That one china teacup reminds me of my strengths and my frailties. What a lot for just a small cup of tea!