My husband and I were sitting on our patio after curfew. A fire warmed us and threw light on on the mural that Marco had painted. Soft music played. I nearly drowned in contentment.
I am often aware of how many people are driven to find contentment, with the operative word driven: working harder and/or always searching, searching searching.I'm reminded of a winter a couple of decades ago in Gstadd. The Swiss Alps in winter are beautiful. It is not necessary to be in the playground of rich and famous to enjoy their amazing sights, but that can be fun too even if we are neither rich or famous.
We had decided to take a sleigh ride after dinner. Although our cheeks tingled with the cold, we were toasty under the furs.
I have the tendency to talk to taxi drivers. Sleigh drivers are no exception. We spoke French with a bit of German thrown in. He didn't speak English. I asked him how he felt about his work.
"It's my life," he said in a tone that embraced total happiness. I love my horses. I love meeting people from all over. I love the time with my family. I have everything in life I could possibly want."
Years later my husband and I were at Stirling Castle in Scotland. I was thrilled to stand on the spot where Mary Queen of Scots had been crowned as an infant. The church itself was gone but a stone marked the altar where the ceremony had taken place.
Our guide, a man probably in his late 20s, wore a blue tartan that matched his Elizabeth Taylor-beautiful eyes. He was able to engage everyone in the tour despite ages from grade school to pushing old age. We were from several countries. He seemed to know about every stone in the castle, every event and he was a true performer.
After, I said to him, how much we enjoyed the tour. "I can't imagine doing anything else or being anywhere else he said. I wake every morning thrilled just to he here," he told us.
Those two men found contentment in just being. They had little desire to be rich, to rule the world or even a village. They loved what they did and what they had.
I'm tempted the next time I'm in Scotland to go back to the castle to see if the young man is still there. I hope so and I hope he is.
Then again I will follow his and the sleigh driver's example of being content with all that I have.