The gifts of small things. The turns of phrase that visit me in my bed in the early hours. The chapter that holds up in the light of day. The cat that likes to help me pack books into boxes. The folks who email; who read blogs and chapters. Air conditioning that works. Food enough. The pleasure of one’s own company. Beloved friends. Fantasy man-friends. The existence of possibility. The persistence of hope.

These are not examples of settling for less, nor of scaled-back expectations. These are the small joys of every day; the elusive contentment that comes to visit, even in chaos.

For the writer—hell, for anybody—what is the difference between days like these and the wreckage of stressed-out, brain-buzzing nights? What is the nature of what we have managed to discover in the moment; the frail, faint peace that we hold close to ourselves? And how do we hang onto that serenity past the now?

These moments are matches lit in darkness and sheltered from the harsh winds of ourselves. Temporary shelter from the hailstorm of reality. Islands in the bony prisons of our heads. Reading this post tomorrow won’t bring the moment back. All the bumper-sticker platitudes in the universe won’t do a thing to help us. But serenity like this, when it comes, is a treasure.

It is the permission we give to ourselves to live, to create, to experience, to feel. Whether it is the gift to the writer or to the woman…it doesn’t matter. Right now, being alive is joy enough. Is is enough. And, for the moment anyway, I’ll take it.