I took time off today. Fully off. I usually work on something else when I'm off. Today, however, I promised a day in the park and a day in the park was had. On bikes. It was sunny, warm, and pretty in the city. And especially so in the park.
I took my Havaianas off, yes, flip-flops, folks - gotta love Spring season! - lied down on the grass, put my shades on, closed my eyes, turned phones and speech off, fully off, and let the sun caress my skin. Apparently, I fell asleep in a matter of minutes and even snored. And I am not a napping kind. A snoring kind, yes, but I'm not bothered by that, because, naturally, I'm too asleep to notice. However, I despise sleep during the day. Always have. Today however, sleep was most welcome. I suppose I can blame my euphoria on the effect of the Spring sun. In the evening I asked if I looked 'tan' because, of course, a twelve-minute nap under the March sun would have the power to tan me. The answer was "Nah, you look the same as last night. Rested, though." "Ok", I say. "I'll take 'rested' any day."
As I was enjoying the sun outside with my eyes closed jut before I fell asleep I got to thinking about what it means to feel a sense of belonging. The night before over miso soup and sushi, I had a long conversation with a new friend of mine about that very topic. He asked me how I defined a 'sense of belonging.' I said, I defined it contextually. And, naturally, it varied. I can feel a sense of belonging when standing next to a stranger in line at Starbucks over in Memphis the way I frequently feel it when with the person I get best and gets me the best. I feel it at 5am when I stare at my bedroom ceiling for my routine 'thinking time' or when I'm riding my bike to the park chewing my favorite gum listening to what in certain company I refer to as 'crap light pop'.
After my sun therapy session today, I call him up and say, "you know that sense of belonging thing you asked me about last night? I got some more on Beach Ave. today. Come and meet up. There might be some left for you too." When you feel something good you should share it with those who're searching for it as well, no?
When most bring up questions of happiness definitions, I usually say, that I don't know much about that but I know a whole lot about defining moments of levity and contentedness. I could comment on that, sure.
Happiness is impossible to define. What contributes to this impossibility is the basic fact that it is highly subjective. The idea of happiness that person A has, could be my very idea of the third circle of inferno. Defining moments of bearable weight (i.e. levity) - I do find levity to be a bit of a schlep at times, actually, but that's another thought - is much easier. Moments can be confined to a certain space in time and they're doable linguistically. I might look at the same place on Beach Ave next time I'm out there and I might shower it with the kind of indifference I reserve for other things. Today, however, that is a place where I feel I belong.
And after the pleasantness of a small amount of time, I had to revert back to my usual patterns and suggest that we pay our respects to our Mecca, aka the Howard Schultz' church of Green Tea Lattes and Caramel Macchiatos.