I wake bathed in the stillness of morning, swimming in languid air. My shirt is slicked to my chest with the sweat of winter’s sleep beneath a sea of downy blankets. I revel in the patience of those dawning moments before the creep of consciousness sets my mind to whirring—-the harried white noise of living. Sunlight filters in through the branches outside the window casting whorls of light that dance across the turquoise grotto of my ceiling. I am struck by the beauty of it all and in this way I am overcome with a quiet revelation–this is what it means to be content. It isn’t the realization of some grand ambition or the absence of suffering, but to marvel at the beauty of small wonders. These things may seem inconsequential or mundane, motes of dust in a vast, cosmic landscape, but learning to appreciate these humble graces has been the most rewarding experience of my post-ketamine life.
Some people thank god for these moments, but my faith lies in science. I believe that the beauty of nature is no less miraculous for its knowability. Delighting in the ordinary, in the creep of amber light that eases the blackish bruise of dawn at sunrise or the aroma of petrichor and the oily scent of tar that sizzles up from the blacktop after summer rain, is an act of gratitude for the mere fact of living. The brightest moments in my life are the simplest, unfettered by the weight of import or expectation–the orchestral clanking of shackles against the masts of sail boats as I ride home along the lakefront, the balm of warm showers after winter commutes, mugs of peppermint tea and the comfort of fleece socks. To be in awe of these simple pleasures is a salve for the inevitable hardship of living. It is a ceaseless benediction, for there is no shortage of small wonders in this world if only you pause to look.