When I first jump into the pool I take a moment to stretch out and enjoy the sudden cool embrace of the water. I let go of my mind, my worries, my neuroses, and just for that brief instant I feel completely calm and at peace with my existence.
I don't wonder, that when Virginia Woolf walked into the water, that she was seeking this same kind of release. I do wonder what drove her to seeking its permanence. Life is so precious.
Every once in a while, I'll approach this feeling of rapture, of peace and connectedness, outside of the pool. Sometimes when driving, I'll see something so beautiful that I have to pull over the car for a moment, and just stop and enjoy it. Sometimes they are odd, nonsensical things, like a park bench or a broken-down building. A sunbeam, a particular way the light hits the clouds. Or that moment when I am sitting at my work table at home, having just opened a brand new book about causality, that, ON THE VERY FIRST PAGE, contains a discussion that exactly addresses a question that has been bothering me for months (oh, the joy of it!). Or watching my son make a play-doh monster, which he then proceeds to smash with loud expressions of delighted evil. Or the moment when a particularly devious and anonymous plot to create a smile on the face of someone I love succeeds. This last is particularly satisfying, and can surprise me with a moment of joy just at the memory of it.
My advice to you all, for the New Year, is to resolve to enjoy these moments when they present themselves. Take the time to stop and just feel that sudden, cool embrace of joy, however and whenever it occurs.