Every few months, I read Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life. After reading it again and again, various passages speak to me at different times. This past week I reflected on these words:
“C’mon, let’s be honest. We have an embarrassment of riches. Life is good. I don’t mean in a cosmic way. I never think of my life, or my world, in any big cosmic way. I think of it all in its small component parts: the snowdrops, the daffodils; the feeling of one of my kids sitting close behind me on the couch; the way my husband looks when he reads with the lamp beside him; fettucine alfredo; fudge; Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice. Life is made up of small moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. . . We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.”
This week my energy gravitated toward these small moments. Every morning I peer outside of my office window. There it is. The speckles of sunlight cast its gaze on the mountains. There is no movement yet, only nature announcing that morning commences. With a coffee cup in my hand, I savor what exists right now. I smile as I reflect on how my daughter continues her wonder in the world of make-believe and magic. She lost a tooth this week and even though she is 7, she believes the tooth fairy is real. I slipped a few goodies under her pillow during the night. As soon as she woke, she tore open the envelope, raced toward our room and announced that the tooth fairy left her a note with a bracelet. Her laughter filled the room. Her wonder comforts and gives a glimpse of goodness only children carry. Witnessing her wonder, I stopped and thought, how much of her innocence gives me unconditional joy.
Those moments, the ones you encounter everyday, offer opportunities to really sink into happiness. Drinking that Starbucks Chai latte; conversing with an old friend; rummaging through old pictures of your childhood; receiving a compliment from a loved one; flipping through People or US or Shape to break up the intensity of what sometimes might overwhelm you; reading a Mary Oliver poem or that novel that leaves you a little tethered, but grateful that your life, right now, is a glorious indulgence. Whatever your moments, they will leave you. It is your choice to really embrace the texture of what details uplift you.
Notice, really notice, the glittering mica. It is everywhere.
Sink into happiness -I love the sound of that, such a wonderful feeling. I had one of those times last night when our kids came over to have dinner with us.
We sink into happiness when we embrace all our gifts of life. A lovely reminder Rudri. 🙂
The joy of unconditional moments through the eyes of children never stop — always there in the faces of every-child. Yet, those special moments you describe with your own child can return when you have grandchildren. The best part, is that I now have even greater perspective (and, hopefully, wisdom) to appreciate it with greater wonder! Thank you for making this image tangible today, dear friend!
The details are indeed incredibly powerful, and we can always find wonderful moments to be grateful for – if we’re lucky.
Most of us who are reading you are among those who can, certainly.
But those details – even if good – are often overshadowed by larger issues. It’s basic Maslow – survival over everything else.
That doesn’t negate the beauty of those moments; it does reveal them to be set in a different context, depending upon the lives we lead.
A lovely piece, Rudri.
Glad to find someone else who looks for the happy moments.
It is everywhere. I pride myself on noticing it every day.