The workings of our mind are complicated. It is amazing how it picks and chooses random moments from our time and saves them as memories to be accessed in the future when prompted by the present. Not all of these saved moments are pleasant though, some are astounding in their beauty, some very painful, and then there are some instants that are embedded very deep in the landscape of our existence and a chance visit upon them, resulting from a totally unrelated occurrence, exalts our entire being and makes us realize how fortunate we are to witness this moment again and how lucky to be alive right now. I like to call these, for lack of a better word or phrase, my favorite feelings. Here they are:
- Every time I wake up earlier than usual on the weekends. The house is dark, everyone is asleep which means no one needs me and I can sit quietly and write, reflect, plan or maybe do nothing. This episode does not last more than an hour or two, but there is an acute sense of satisfaction in harnessing those rare hours in my life as a mother, when everything around me is calm and I can feel like my old self again.
- The lingering scent of Chanel Mademoiselle in the closet. I usually experience this mid-week when I open my wardrobe and get a whiff of this perfume, if I was wearing it on the weekend. I have used this fragrance for three years now, but it is still very special to me. It never fails to elevate my mood and bring a smile to my face, a reminder of the comfort of spending time with the two people who mean the most to me in this world.
- Meeting my father after months apart and staying in his embrace for as long as possible. He is the one person, meeting whom makes me cry every single time. I am smiling and he is smiling but the tears just flow unrestrained and tell the tale of how deeply I missed him, how much I wanted to see his affectionate face and how badly I needed to lay my head on him to weep for lost time.
- When my daughter falls asleep on me in a public place. I can count the number of times this has happened to me, which goes on to show how rare an occurrence this is in my life. But every time it has happened, I am amazed at this bond between me and her. She was very tired and couldn’t settle herself in the stroller, but when I held her, she snuggled up close to me, made herself comfortable and slept amid all the noise surrounding us. Her head fit perfectly in the crook of my neck, her little hands held on tightly to my clothes. Whenever this happens, I pause to enjoy it because this will not last very long and I remind myself of how special I am to her and what a unique relationship this is.
- Finding an old piece of my writing in a long forgotten journal. I always read it in anticipation of rediscovering something about myself, checking the date on it and trying to remember when and why I wrote it. It is nice to revisit my thoughts and musings from a past time. Sometimes I laugh at myself and the insignificance of the things that mattered to me in the past, at other times I am grateful for how my life has turned out and how much I have grown as a human. Either ways, I never discard it before reading and forgiving myself for my naivety and not knowing what real life actually is.
- Music from the 1990s. This takes me back to the time when nothing mattered in life except good grades and good friends. When we were not bothered by the things we didn’t have and couldn’t afford. When getting together with friends meant playing music and dancing and when our only source of information on our favorite pop stars and song lyrics was the covers of the audio cassettes we owned or borrowed. Music from that time still sounds fresh to me and I can’t help but sing along loudly, much to the surprise of The Husband.
- Being spoken to in the local language, by the locals, in a foreign country. It might sound strange to someone reading this, but to me there is always an unexplainable sense of adventure when this happens. The idea that I don’t look like a tourist, I am blending in and look like I belong here is enough to make a trip worthwhile for me. Not to mention the interesting conversations that follow when I manage to explain that I am a visitor on vacation.
- Staying up, talking to my brother late into the night. There are a few such nights every time I am visiting my parents, where he and I start chatting and before we realize, hours have gone by. Everyone else is asleep, we have snacked on various things, changed a few locations around the house and discussed music, family, movies, childhood, careers and aspirations. I am completely exhausted but the familiarity that I experience talking to someone who understands me thoroughly and knows what I like and dislike keeps me going till the wee hours of the morning. I go to bed knowing a little bit more about myself and him than I did before.
- Eating shawerma on the beach with my husband. We first did this in the wake of a tragedy in our lives and even though it will always be associated with that sad day, it was also the day I consciously realized how much I loved this man, who destiny had chosen to be my partner. And sitting on the beach in the dark, listening to the waves, holding hands and eating, I concluded that even if I never get anything else in my life that I ask for, he is enough for me; I will be fine as long as he is standing by me, as long as he is holding my hand.
- The feeling that I helped someone. It can be something as small as helping a flustered mother in the mall with her bags or giving sincere advice to a friend, but when it happens, I am left with my heart warmed with compassion and faith in my own self restored. I like to think that even if no one else is affected by my kindness, at least I am setting a good example for my daughter. I always feel that there is a great high in helping someone and for me it lasts for hours.
- Listening to the sounds of my husband and my daughter playing and laughing in another room. This is, by far, the most beautiful sound in my world right now. To know that they are both healthy and happy and can’t get enough of each other’s company, leaves me very contented with life. It takes me back to the days when I used to watch this clueless father staring into his daughter’s eyes with wonderment, unable to comprehend this little miracle and asking me if he is holding her alright.
I hope that my life will lead me to more such heartwarming moments which will turn into beautiful memories, because when you are having a bad day, nothing is better than an uplifting reminder of the blessings you have.