Small Rewards

Kate - Moscow, Idaho
Entered on June 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in creating privileges. Things that you don’t have very often are improved in their absence. It’s the “love is strengthened by separation” and Christmas morning concepts rolled into one. Many children say they wish Christmas was every day of the year, but I disagree. If Christmas were every day it would lose all novelty and become a simple routine—it would not be a treat anymore.

An important part of my life is rewarding myself with something delicious, or wonderful, or just plain comforting every once and a while. Without these domestic “gifts” to myself, I would run out of energy and enthusiasm. However, if I had these things all the time they would not be half so valuable to me.

One of my favorite little treats is black currant tea. My mother and I both absolutely love it, but we can only get it occasionally. We buy it from Peet’s Coffee, which is a pretty good sized chain of coffee shops, but there isn’t a Peet’s closer than Seattle (which is about a seven-hour drive away). As a result, we hoard the stuff and it’s saved for special occasions only.

But, we’re not very willing to share our tea, so it’s a different kind of special occasion than Christmas or Thanksgiving. We make a nice pot of black currant on the Saturday we wake up to see the world suddenly turned white and silent outside our windows. We drink and toast to winter, to ice skating, to school being canceled, to skiing, to heaps of blankets and fires in the fireplace—to snow.

We drink the hot, warm, homey liquid on the first sunny day of spring after we’ve looked around the seemingly-dead garden and noticed the very first snow drops peaking up from the frozen ground. Iced black currant on the first day of summer vacation, anticipating hot weather and lazy days; the day before school starts again in the fall, when the leaves are golden and crisp underfoot. These are the sort of days we choose to revel in the smell of friendship and good times, turning points and celebration.

It is not only the days of change that we privilege ourselves on. Black currant is also a thing that is comforting and familiar on a sad rainy day. A cup with a little milk and sugar, a hug, a good book, and a familiar CD is the perfect remedy to gloom.

This normal everyday thing, it makes me so happy. It wouldn’t do this if I drank it every day. I am happier with things that I don’t always have. Loss creates joy. This I believe.