Tal Ben-Shahar on cultivating happiness
On arriving in the city one last time

A weekend's ordinary joys

A paper-flower crown for Shavuot, featuring three of our son's four names.

A Shabbat service where my community's students -- from first grade through seventh grade -- sang the prayers and songs we'd been practicing, to their parents' obvious delight. The gusto with which they banged on the drums.

A wedding where the couple's visible joy in each other and in the moment illuminated the gauzy white chuppah, the lawn where the chairs were set up, possibly this whole quadrant of the earth.

Opening a Torah scroll for a group of young children, and reading the priestly blessing to them, at which point our son exclaimed, "We say that on Friday nights!" Yes, my little love, indeed we do, and I am so happy that you know that.

Following that up with the making of paper flower crowns, and then with ice cream sundaes -- in celebration of Shavuot (when we eat dairy because the Torah is compared to milk and honey) and the end of the school year.

Hearing from a friend and congregant that she loves hearing me read Torah because I translate as I go, and because my translation is so informal and colloquial that it makes the text feel alive.

Our son pushing his plastic lawnmower around the deck in a light rain while his father mowed the actual lawn. The scent, which I hadn't realized I'd forgotten over the months since the last lawn-mowing, of grass clippings mixed with wild thyme.