There is something to be said about learning to find joy in small things.
Today I made the perfect piece of toast (at least to my standard of what the perfect piece of toast should be). The bread was golden like some sort of Midas-touched, carb-loaded hunk of precious gluten. On its surface, the flaky craters seem to reflect light, almost as though angels will spring forth and sing a heavenly chorus, praising my toast-making skills. It really is just right. Not even the edges are overdone. In the middle, the bread is warm and soft still, but as soon as I bite, I get that gratifying crunch that comes along with the quintessential piece of toast. Much to my satisfaction, breakfast is made more pleasant by this extraordinary and for me, unprecedented moment.
But this isn’t about toast.
This is about my need to find something good in days that often start off just as difficult as they proceed, days in which toast has become the highlight.
Needless to say, since March, I have sifted through life’s long-abandoned goldmine for flecks of something precious. This existence that I have cobbled together from mundanity and isolation, from societally-imposed introversion and reading binges, is an unforeseen and unwelcome challenge, the kind of scenario that warrants a celebration when breakfast isn’t burnt.
Certainly, options for achieving earth-shattering successes are few and far between when you have become an unwilling shut-in, Quasimodo in your bell-tower home. How do we stay sane when there is absolute insanity in the world “out there,” the nebulous and made-scary “beyond”?
You make toast. You make the best damn toast you can, and you shout from your socially-distanced rooftop with a voice muffled from behind your mask because if you don’t, you may scream or cry or lose it because times are hard, but your toast is not. Your toast is just right.