The Discontinuous Patchwork of Happiness: Sep 2011

Happiness is a boat ride with your loved ones on a beautiful evening

About a year ago, I wrote about feeling as if, I am always waiting at the Doorstep of Heaven,  knowing what heaven looks like from the outside– but unable to enter it; waiting and persevering (eventually it became the name of this blog).

On this beautiful first Monday of September, as we psychologically bid farewell to another Summer, I sit back and remember the many elements of happiness during the last four or five months:  

Having the people I love, close to me;

Enjoying a great dinner and conversation with close family (during a 7 day trip to Vancouver);

Nurturing every moment of inter coastal boat rides with people I enjoy;

Daiyaan and Shania on a boat ride

Reading an amazing book (Monsoon, Robert Kaplan) or tearfully listening to a song that my sixteen-year old daughter linked on my Facebook page (Count on Me, by Bruno Mars);

Relishing a batch of soft chocolate chip cookies that my six-your old daughter and I baked,  and dunking a cookie in the perfect cup of hot milky tea;

A re-connection dinner with an old friend, after 26 years (in Boston) or completely drunken adda with a another childhood friend (in London);

Enjoying an amazing concert by Rihanna with my sixteen-year old;

A delicious espresso martini followed by some amazing Quesidillas or Southwestern Egg rolls on an evening, followed by an amazing thriller movie (The Debt);

I could go on and on, about all of these experiences this Summer, creating a wonderful scrapbook of memories.

But these episodes of euphoria, are also peppered with some of the darkest and yes, strangest memories that will last me a lifetime.

At one point of my life, I used to believe, happiness comes in a continuous spectrum, covering us like a warm blanket on a chilly night.  

As one gets older, and experiences heartbreak or loss, it’s accepted that happiness is more a cotton patchwork quilt; the kind that your grandmother gifts you when you go away to college or leave home for a job. It has the feeling of soft cotton – and you can see the stains of memory, linger on every patch; you feel the wrinkles of her fingers massaging it.

On this September evening, as I bid farewell to Summer of 2011, I take with me, some of those sweet memories and wonder, if given the opportunity, what I will be writing about, a year from now.

Last year, on Labor Day weekend, my little mermaid and I, swam in the pool , we bar-b-cued burgers and enjoyed the company of friends on our lovely patio. Today, some of those friends are either far away from us or, may have become a sideline casualty of our lives. New friendships have emerged, new relationships have formed.

Just like that wonderful quilt; you can see the fractures and frictions of our lives mingle together with our euphoric moments and positive sentiments. As if, one patch could not survive without the other.  

Why is it, that happiness comes in such a patchwork quilt form; why doesn’t it come in that industrially produced, continuous thread, blanket form?

Maybe it’s because, that’s how life is meant to be; a patchwork of good and bad memories – none of which lasts forever, but the impression remains permanently.

Each one of us are gifted this quilt of life, in different forms and shapes.

At night, when that Fall air creeps through the window, and gives a sudden chill; we pull that quilt up, and protect ourselves – knowing very well, that more new memories will be added to the quilt, giving us warmth and protection in difficult times.

As we grow older, this quilt of memories, becomes a friend, telling us stories of the past; we carry it around in our mental suitcases. When things are going well, or not so well, we bring that quilt out, and feel the little patches.

Every patch tells us a story – maybe that of a hospital visit when someone was ill – maybe that of the morning when our first born came as a gift – or maybe simply the evening that we first meet someone – and believe that, love can conquer all.


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