Connections are still important to us, and they still seem to happen spontaneously, providentially, delightfully.
I'm reading The Screwtape Letters with Anne and Betsy. In Letter XI, Screwtape describes to Wormwood the four causes of human laughter:
I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday. Among adults some pretext in the way of Jokes is usually provided, but the facility with which the smallest witticisms produce laughter at such a time shows that they are not the real cause. What that real cause is we do not know. Something like it is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven—
We spent a fair amount of time talking about joy, the laughter with friends and family that erupts, bubbles over, is out of proportion to the circumstance. The relationship to music.
Soon we moved on to another book I've long loved and am sharing for the first time with the girls, Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. Have you ever read it? You must. You must.
Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding is experiencing something as the book opens:
And he knew what it was that had leaped upon him to stay and would not run away now.What is it? I asked the girls. What is he feeling?
I'm alive, he thought.
It's hard to describe ...
You know it when you feel it ...
That joy ... laughter ....
The first day of summer ... Christmas ... a best friend ... the breeze when it's just right ....
"And it reminds me of a part of Our Town," I said.
Yes! I know the part you mean!
And then Ramona chimed in: "It reminds me of this phrase: 'drink the wind.' You know, Mommy? Remember that?"