“Mama and Papa sat in the kitchen. They would sit there and talk until daybreak. Papa was telling about the night’s work; the people he had seen, what they had looked like and how they spoke. The Nolans just couldn’t get enough of life. They lived their own lives up to the hilt but that wasn’t enough. They had to fill in on the lives of all the people they made contact with.”
— A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains — a cup of hot strong coffee when you’re blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you’re alone — just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.”
I finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith the other day, and I fell in love with this quote. Francie blew me away with her youthful wisdom throughout the book, and this passage was one of my favorites. I love the examples she uses — how perfect are they?! — and she made me stop to think about the little things that make up happiness for me: waking up to sunlight streaming through my window on a Saturday morning, a kiss on the forehead, walking barefoot on soft grass, the perfect song coming on the radio, dancing, a steaming cup of jasmine tea from my favorite mug…
What little things make up your happiness?