The Sheer Sunshine like Joy
23rd January, 2011, Sunday
You cried a bit and then you pooped as your little stomach growled. I noticed that every time you stir and move and cry, your stomach growls. I think your stomach is upset because I ate too much chili. I’m sorry darling for not considering you in my diet. From now on, I will try to eat as little chili as possible. I thought you would get used to it. I did not want to trouble my mother in preparing a separate curry for me.
Baby, right now, I’m lying next to you and writing this letter. I haven’t changed you yet because you fell asleep so peacefully that I didn’t want to disturb you. You are sleeping, so, so peacefully, your father’s left hand wrapped around you. God Baby, I never saw a face bathed completely in sheer contentment and joy. I remembered Thich Nhat Hanh’s observance of a little boy:
One day, I sat by the window of a friend’s home and watched a scene I could have watched forever. Across the street was a low roofed dry goods store. Coils of rope and barbed wire, pots and pans hung from the eaves. Hundreds of items were on display – fish sauce and bean sauce, candles and peanut candy. The store was so packed and dimly lit, it was difficult to distinguish one object from another as the rainstorm darkened the street. A young boy, no more than five or six, wearing a simple pair of shorts, his skin darkened by hours of play in the sun, sat on a little stool on the front step of the store. He was eating a bowl of rice, protected by the overhand. Rain ran off the roof making puddles in front of where he sat. He held his rice bowl in one hand and his chopsticks in the other, and he ate slowly, his eyes riveted on the stream of water pouring from the roof. Large drops exploded into bubbles on the surface of a puddle. Though I was across the street, I could tell that his rice was mixed with pieces of duck egg and sprinkled with fish sauce. He raised his chopsticks slowly to his mouth, savoring each small mouthful. He gazed at the rain and appeared to be utterly content, the very image of well-being. I could feel his heart beating. His lungs, stomach, liver, and all his organs were working in perfect harmony. If he had had a toothache, he could not have been enjoying the effortless peace of that moment. I looked at him as one might admire a perfect jewel, a flower, or a sunrise. Truth and paradise revealed themselves. I was completely absorbed by his image. He seemed to be a divine being, a young god embodying the bliss of well-being with every glance of his eyes and every bite of rice he took. He was completely free of worry or anxiety. He had no thought of being poor. He did not compare his simple black shorts to the fancy clothes of other children. He did not feel sad because he had no shoes. He did not mind that he sat on a hard stool rather than a cushioned chair. He felt no longing. He was completely at peace in the moment. Just by watching him, the same well-being flooded my body.
Yes Baby, I felt exactly as he describes here. It flooded my body with joy and I felt myself exploding with it. I couldn’t hold myself back in the bed – so I woke up to express myself in my blog. It is still very early. It is winter you know and the past few days have been very cold. It did not really snow but the weather has been very gloomy and cloudy. Even right now -- I have opened the curtains on my window – the sky is dark and cloudy but it has no effect on this overwhelming joy I’m feeling. People must wake up early. I already heard several cars passing by. Now I hear the birds; I already heard a crow crowing early morning when I got up to go to toilet. I even felt a little scared. I never heard a crow that early and I took that to be ominous. I couldn’t interpret what it would mean but I couldn’t help notice it and feel strange.
But that was gone as soon as I got in bed next to you. I took a picture of you lying peacefully next to your father and got back in bed beside you. Baby I love you. You have brought so much joy in my life.