My wife and daughter came to visit me this past weekend at my deployed work site in Florida. It was only for a couple of days, but it was one of the most pleasant times we’ve had together in recent memory. No schedule, no agenda, just time together enjoying the sand and surf. We walked along the beach as sunset faded into evening and the stars came into view, one by one. It was magical.
There was a moment during that walk when I realized everything, in that instant, was absolutely perfect–the scenery, the sound and smell of the ocean, the warmth of the breeze, and the sense of absolute freedom and detachedness from everything except two other people I dearly love. Time didn’t exactly stop, but it seemed to slow down, just a little, as we let the contentment of that moment envelop us.
I’ve experienced this feeling only a few times in my life. It is the joy unlooked-for: startling, profound, and overwhelming.