There is a single moment from my childhood that I uniquely cherish, a moment against which all subsequent experiences of happiness have instinctively been measured.
It was a morning in early summer, and I had slept in. I was, perhaps, nine or ten, and life’s complications had yet to dawn on me. So, it was easy to love… God, family, and friends.
I wish I could describe the otherworldly peace I felt while lying there in bed. I was awake and refreshed but felt no compulsion to move. Instead, I was fully content to watch the graceful dance of the curtains and to drink in the sounds and scents of the young day.
After a time, the doorbell rang, and I recognized my mother’s footsteps in response. When she opened the door, I could clearly hear the conversation that ensued.
“Good morning, Mrs. Dalton. Can Steve come out?” It was Philip, one of my closest childhood friends. He was always polite.
“He’s not up yet, Phil, but I’ll see if he’s awake.”
I bounded out of bed. Time to play!
Thereafter, the blessed memory fades.