Author extraordinaire Erin Morgenstern—and the genius behind The Night Circus—shows us those brief, unexpected times that elevate life into a mirror-shimmering otherworldliness that’s still undeniably real.
By Erin Morgenstern
When It’s 3 a.m.
I like to call it nighttime brain: the way your mind seems to function on a different frequency than it does during daylight hours—which can be good or bad but also can lead to unexpected epiphanies or experiences that wouldn’t be the same at any other time of day. They say it’s darkest before the dawn, but it also tends to be quietest, and the quiet lets you hear yourself better.
When You Experience Kitchen Alchemy
You don’t have to be a chef or even a particularly good cook to experience proper kitchen alchemy: the moment when ingredients combine to form something more delectable than the sum of their parts. Fancy ingredients or recipes not required; simple, made-up things are usually even better. Apples made luscious with cinnamon and sugar and butter or fresh tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt. It tastes even better because you made it yourself.