My happiness is a warm foot nestling to my belly, softly because it’s small and smooth. My happiness is the face of the boy when he sleeps – so peaceful and calm as it is bustling and eventful in his vigil.
My happiness is to be hugged with his whole body – the five-year-old lets himself being lifted, slings his arms and his legs around me and nuzzles the head into my shoulder or his soft cheek to mine. My happiness is to watch this child in a situation of contendedness and joy, alone or in interaction with others. “Everything is well.” And the bright twinge of this happiness is as elusive as the hug of a child; one cuddle on the lap which moves into another pose, some fidget and back to play again.
My happiness is also a summer’s rest in the hammock, being cradled and escaping time for a moment, a warm sensation in my belly. “It is good as it is”, says my happiness.
Happiness is searching for the moment, wanting to hold it and stretch it into eternity – like the failure of Faust who lost his wager with the devil when he wanted the perfect moment to stay. The child as the best buddhistic teacher knows that this is impossible. Although I shut my eyes in front of this wisdom and catch pictures of happiness with my digital scoop.
In the happiness of romantic love I once followed the illusion that happiness could be stretched forever. I lived in the same celerity as my lover and thought I have arrived home finally. The logical conclusion: Hold your breath and press “pause”. Everyone suspects: It didn’t go well.
When I took my happiness for the content of my life I lost the compass for my action, replaced it with a static signpost. I stayed put when my luck has left me, waiting for the happiness to return. I learned things I never wanted to. And later I was sure my happiness was gone, used up forever.
I was wrong.
When the boy returns from the holiday with his father he will fly down the stairs – laughing as I will laugh – right in my arms and a whole pouch of happiness will burst in my heart.
Or – as wonderful Hilde Domin says:
“And the happiness bites its little tooth in my heart.”