The little things that give us joy. Finding those in the quiet moments is the charge from Tish Harrison Warren’s chapter, ‘Drinking Tea: Sanctuary and Savoring’.
For me this is easy — my wife’s eyes crinkle at the corner when she smiles. She smiles a lot — a little less now that we are in our older years and her knees hurt and the kids are farther away and the Portland rains persists, but when she listens to her music, meets a friend, or gets a call from a daughter the corners of her face spread into tiny archipelagos of joy. It was one of the first things I noticed about her, and I resolved to make her as happy as I could as often as I could.
Some people find the divine creation in a butterfly on a flower, or a rainbow. I collect jokes and funny stories specifically so I can tell them to my wife. Even when I am teasing her with one of my many torturous pranks, she flattens out her lips and looks down her nose at me, but her crinkles always give her away. When we are driving, I have taken to reaching over and stroking the back of her hand so she brightens up a little.
These are my little moments of joy and sanctuary. When Virginia smiles it is my own private sacrament. If God can make those eyes that betray a giddy joy in the universe then I am lucky enough to be the chief priest of cheer.