The day draws to a quiet close with all the perfection of a well-played concerto.
It is late afternoon. The winter sun filters through the foliage of the trees that hug my home and creates dappling, moving shadows on the floor. My eyes return repeatedly to the brilliant green-gold of the view outside as I sit surfing through the net, propped against the pillows on my bed. The languid, sun-warmed breeze lulls me into a feeling of deep contentment. How little I need, I think to myself gratefully, to be joyful. How very little!
The realization delights me with the wonder of something that is so wholesomely complete. A couple of decades ago, I would have been mighty surprised it someone had told me this is the moment I would reach… and that a moment like this would fill me with such deep gratitude… for no reason at all.
My surfing brought me to a YouTube link that set me thinking. I don’t know what it was about the video I saw. With astounding agility and dexterity, the video begged me to take a step back and look at life- all of life- with new eyes. Gently, it opened windows to verdant skies brilliantly lighting up dappled green vistas. I felt as if my attention, indeed my very consciousness, seemed to be concentrated and multiplied many-fold. When the video ended, I returned to my world with my heightened perception still undimmed. My breathing deepened. I felt as if everything around me had become aglow with a diffused highlight.
It is a balmy winter afternoon I noticed. It was fully charged with its almost mandatory bite of chill hidden in it like a sparkling afterthought. The sunlight is clear and glowing. The air is crisp. The dancing patterns on the floor look so feisty and rambunctious. There is festivity in the air, of that I am certain.
I don’t know why I am reminded of dry, brown leaves on the floor of a thickly wooded forest. This is how the the sunlight would look, dancing on the dun colored dry foliage. This is how the air would feel, warm and cold at once. This is how I would want to draw deep, rich breaths, greedy to suck it all in; to suck in more than just the balmy air. Why would I want to suck it in? Just so I can store it within me… intact. This special moment so alive, so full, so complete with all its individual components.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could store moments of perfection, bring them out at will and completely resurrect them in all their richness; in every beautiful, enchanting detail? We’d be able to recreate the bliss by unpacking all its constituent emotions- the contentment, the gratitude, the feeling of blessedness and grace. If we could but do that, we need never suffer another graceless moment again. For surely, there would be more than enough blessed moments to recall and recreate, wouldn’t there? Wouldn’t there? Surely you’ve collected many of them, have you not?
To make this moment all the more perfect, I was reminded of a quote I had read a while back. I did not remember it verbatim so googled it Lo, and behold! There was the quote in all its perfection.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
That’s when I knew, I had to- just HAD to preserve the moment, wrapped securely and delicately in my words. I don’t know if I will ever be able to resurrect the bliss of this afternoon again. Maybe I will; perhaps not. But the fact that I wanted it preserved, makes me strangely happy. The afternoon sun shines a little brighter now, the breeze has turned a shade more languid and full. Though I can’t see the sky from where I sit, I am certain it must have turned a deeper aquamarine. This is how serenity catches hold of you when you least expect it.
On other days when I write, the post comes first. Then I try to find out what the masters and stalwarts have said about the topic. When appropriate, I quote them. The theme of the post guides the selection of the quotes. But today, it is the quote that inspired the post. Or was the post inspired by the elusive something that triggered the memory of the quote?
I wonder. Not that it matters, really.