Happiness - no doubt there is much of it now: knowing and simple happiness; happiness from the so-called “little” things in life, like the warmth of the sun on the face or a delightful conversation with a friend.
Today before noontime I went towards the Copley Place mall in order to change some foreign money that I had left from my recent trip abroad. When I reached the area in-between the Christian Science Church and the beautiful pool which stretches alongside it, I decided to sit on a bench and enjoy the pleasant sun. It turned out to be a most wonderful experience. While sitting there, I immediately noticed the change in my view of things. Things that were once discovered are now looked at with a familiar eye. I looked at the water of the pool, admired its ever-so-light wrinkled waves, and felt the extinguished nature of life, the ken that life will not continue forever, that my batteries are indeed being used up, and that there is even a sense of farewell, of saying goodbye, in my view of today that did not exist in my view in the past, when I was younger. Indeed, we are passing guests in this world and we get to enjoy its fruits, and like a women who were dying from cancer said on a TV Show which I watched with a friend in Israel: what we receive from this world, which is so rich in resources and so generous, is so much greater than what we could ever give back. What we give to this world is so little in comparison to what it gives to us: it gives us light, and water and food and the ability to love others and the opportunity to do and create what we love and believe in, and so, so much more. And even more so, it gives us the most wonderful things with an unimaginable generosity and without condition – like a true friend.
I laid down there like a lizard on the bench for a good half-an-hour, maybe also snoozed a bit. It was a rare time of the day in which the warmth of the sun and the chill of mid-September’s wind were mixed in a perfect equilibration. One warmed my body with immeasurably pleasant warmth and the other chilled it with a cool breeze that was so pleasant it was tickling, and as long as this rare statuesque between the two was not interfered, I simply couldn’t reach the decision to get up from the bench. I was waiting for the warmth of the sun or the chill of the wind to grow stronger, waiting for it to become too hot or too cold so that I would want to get up and go on my way… And while I was lying down on the bench, I suddenly saw passing in the purely blue sky above me a stunningly beautiful cloud, the kind that is so wonderful that it is experienced as a revelation. It was so breathtaking and delicate, like a celestial drawing.
In the end, indeed the warmth of the sun’s rays overcame the chilled air and it finally brought me to getting up, not without wondering about the essence of this singular moment of decision, which is so specific yet so random - the particular instant in which it is decided in us to do something, like to go on my way after such a wonderful rest on a bench by the church, next to its elongated reflection pool.