“Cheers!” is heard most often in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand to mean “Thank you” and “Goodbye” (and many other innocuous definitions). In North America, we say, “Cheers!” when we toast a couple at a wedding or gather family at Christmas. It’s a special occasion kind of word. Sometimes we root our favorite sports team on with a fist pump or give our kids a high five (which is the more common and singular usage of “cheer” in the U.S.) But we reserve cheers for toasting and commemorating.
This week I’ve been trying to say “thank you” and “goodbye” to the mess in our library. I’ve sorted through games, papers, and boxes and watched it rain for six days straight. (What a way to open summer!) Today as I looked at the room, almost sorted properly, I realized the toys and stacks of papers are the work of two lives that crashed together, birthed two more beautiful ones. I suddenly remembered how much my kids love to toast glasses at the table because they are born with the innate gift of celebration in the midst of the mundane.
//Let us clink our glasses like this
Every single day of the year
So we know we belong
Here at a table
Together over wooden legs holding up our firm bounty
Of plates and people and lives being made,
Connected in goblets ching-chinging, sloshing life over glass rims.
Cheers to the unnecessary act of toasting
And every time you will press your hand into the small of my back
Or press your lips to mine in the black kitchen
Lit by candle and flame.
We trace our lives
Round a transparency
That feels an awful lot like the lump in my throat
When I see your forefinger tracing your glass,
That delightful smirk comes upon your face,
Yes, our glasses are full.
Oh, crazy tribe that we are, I could almost swear, we are becoming something worth celebrating. //
What’s beautiful in your life right now? What are you celebrating?
Every Friday I join dozens of other writers at the most encouraging writing community I’ve found online: Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday challenge. This week we are writing for 5 minutes on the word CHEER. (// indicates the start and stop of five minutes.) Ability and experience do not matter, just the simple act of writing. It’s creative. It’s free. Join us?