This Small Joy

I sit in this library, this warm coffee in hand, on this golden morning, recalling the events of today’s journey. There is something about waking early before the mind does. It’s numbing. Fuzzy. Feel Good. It will be warm later but now it is crisp cold.

6:00 AM. We were driving south. Deja Entendu by Brand New played on the sound system while Elijah drove down the 210. Clouds, pink from the ascending sun, rose over the San Gabriel’s, wispy and far between. As we drove through the Foothills the sun rose higher and higher till all at once the sun hit us near downtown Pasadena. I didn’t look away; I didn’t want to. It is a small joy, the warmth of the sun on a cold morning.

Before we headed out, we stopped at Starbucks. I bought a black coffee. Elijah bought some fluffy drink. Right away I spilled a drop. The drop landed right onto my seat-belt. “That was lucky.” I said. The highway was empty this morning. Soon Elijah was hot. He held out his arm and told me to pull off his jacket. With my left hand I pulled his sleeve and with my right hand I held my coffee; Elijah shook his arm as I pulled. No luck. He stopped in the middle of the highway and pulled it off himself. I looked down at my lap; coffee was spilled all over me. I grabbed some napkins and cleaned up the mess. I went back to sipping my coffee while Elijah drove on. It is a small joy, this remaining coffee in my hand.

We had to take a detour through old town Pasadena and cut through Sierra Madre, a wooded sanctuary. There were no palm trees, mostly oak, and the houses were all one story. It was as if we were suddenly on the east coast. We were driving through a neighborhood when we came upon a peacock standing in the middle of the road. Elijah slowed down and honked to get it to move. I mumbled something about how Flannery O’Connor raised peafowl and we drove on.

Flannery O’Connor and her Peacocks

We arrived at San Gabriel Community Church. Elijah went to rehearse with the worship band while I went into a private side library. On the door was a sign that said,

“Nursing mothers only during worship service 9:00 AM — 10:30 AM.”

I checked the time — 7:30. I went in and read my Bible. Now I sit writing these words, recalling this morning’s journey, surrounded by books, in this library, this small joy.