It’s a hot day. June 1st in Oklahoma – what do you expect? I just got home after picking up my daughter from preschool. I felt sweaty and hot even in a lightweight outfit. She wanted to drink her milk right away, and then she dozed off. I’d turned on the air-conditioning (we are careful because our old rental house here is a monster for utilities), and it was still hot so I turned on the fan. I lay there by her side in a cool room, knowing it was hot outside. She nuzzled into my body, threw her limbs over me for safekeeping, and fell to a gentle snoring.
I lay there, cool, in my pajamas, comforted by the tranquil sound and feel of toddler sleep, with the knowledge that I was part of the toddler’s tranquility.
I was flooded with a sense that said I was well and at peace. I reminded myself, in body, soul and mind, that I was full of well-being. I was at peace. I was happy in the deepest sense in this moment. This is a moment to treasure and concentrate that sense of well-being. My mother tells me, “Khushi dhoonda karo” (Search for happiness). She means that it doesn’t just happen. You can’t wait around, wondering when it will appear and gather you up in its arms like a fairytale prince. You have to search for it, recognize it, find it, savor it, roll your tongue around it, and capture the flavor.
Then, like Wordsworth, you can recollect that emotion – except not in moments of tranquility but in moments of non-well-being. The life of this world is not an endless series of moments of happiness. You have to find those moments, and hold on to them. And then make your way through the other moments of not-happiness, accompanied by the warm comforting sense of well-being, like the taste of a delicious meal lingering on your palate.