“The only thing that makes life worth living is the possibility of experiencing now and then a perfect moment. And perhaps even more than that, it's having the ability to recall such moments in their totality, to contemplate them like jewels.”
I reckon unexpected happiness is one of the things that makes life worth living. (Of course, if it's allied with doing something for someone else, then it might even make two lives worth living. Double Happiness - which suddenly reminds me of a little story I had to memorise excerpts from for my elocution examinations many, many years ago ... Miss Happiness and Miss Flower ... I haven't though of that for years. Rumer Godden.)
Connecting is joyous. Connecting with people across every kind of barrier, taking a chance that you won't be rebuffed ... as well I may have been as I gingerly stepped through muddy fields being tended by village women dressed so gaily that I just wanted to kind of get my own hands dirty and join in. Their consternation turning to standing-still curiosity gave me confidence to continue treading across the freshly-turned sods until I reached them.
Hard working hands. Hard lives. There's no way I can pretend to know anything about their lives, and it's not gawking curiosity or a photo op that made me stop the car. It was about the beauty of their presence in a landscape freshly washed by August rains, the improbably intense colours of their skirts and odhanis flapping as they worked, and their ringing chatter as I neared closer. The moment of connection happened when I stopped a respectful distance away and mimed a question intended to ask if I could come closer.
So my next steps were by invitation. It was a delightful interlude - perhaps for all of us. They sang, I tried. They laughed at my inability to properly wield an adse. I marvelled at their jewellery and they twirled in happiness dancing to one another's voices.
A different reality from the moment when across the fields marched their overseer. I was suddenly a trespasser stealing time. I bought more by offering a round of chai and biscuits which was sent off for, but the chatter quietened, the singing stopped. That little moment had happened. Spontaneously.