That sharp spike of sweetness. The rush of bubbles to the nose. The snow falling outside, first in sticky clusters, then soft flakes, then, as the sun went down racing sideways to welcome in the coming cold.
When I was little and had the flu, my mom would give me a glass of warm, flat 7-Up. It was the best thing about being sick, given how sugar-deprived we were.
It was only as an adult that I realized the 7-Up was really supposed to be ginger ale, because ginger is good for an upset stomach. But in the long game of telephone we went from herbal medicine and plant magic to the soothing sweet of the rare treat.
Maybe it did help, just because I believed in it, just because of the ritual, the care, the blood-of-Christ-shed-for-you-ness that we human beings crave.
I sipped ginger beer today, slow and just a little achey from my second covid vaccination. My co-workers moved, at times, as if through water; the office was quieter than usual. We peeled oranges, ate wafer-thin crackers, poured the fizzing golden drink into our coffee cups: to our health.
Our own honest communion.