It’s a cold December night in Valletta, it’s raining, it’s misty and it’s beautiful. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder that the most pleasant things in life are just a step away from us, just like our grand city. No need to travel to the ends of the world, here is perfectly fine.
Everyone seeks one thing primarily in life; happiness. Many times, the notion of happiness seems to elude us; the present moment seemingly not good enough, constantly projecting ourselves into a “better” perceived future or situation. “I hate this Winter, surely in Summer I will feel better ”, “If I travel to that dream holiday destination, that would fantastic” or “If I just tick that other box on my bucket list, only then I will feel complete”. The patterns of the human mind are interesting, elaborate and sometimes quite funny. You may even find yourself in the middle of your dream holiday in Asia, and suddenly murmuring to yourself “South America ought to be better than here…” Our insatiable appetite for more, always paramount, persistently seeking our attention and dragging us in a perpetual race for new goals and milestones.
I believe happiness, being a state of mind is indeed desirable but temporary whatsoever. You reach one goal and experience short-term fulfillment; however when the thrill slowly fades away, you inevitably long for something else. Holistically speaking, I guess what we really should strive for is not happiness in itself, that is a by-product of other factors, instead it’s far wiser to search for peacefulness, self-acceptance and serenity.
A key to attaining this perspective, is to learn to truly appreciate the small things in life, many of which we often take for granted, such as passing quality time with our loved ones, enjoying a glass of wine with friends, reading a book, listening to your favorite music, or even simpler stuff; contemplating the beauty of nature, being in silence, or instead listening to the soft sound of the rain, just as I am doing now whilst scribbling down these words…
It’s still raining in Valletta, the city’s charm undiminished in my eyes. Valletta, for many years was partially lost to its people, busy throughout the day but quite abandoned during the night, desolate and rather sad. Now that’s no more, it’s back to life, even through a pandemic. Valletta has re-discovered it’s spirit through change, perseverance and determination. That should serve as an inspiration for all of us. As our city was born anew, slowly transforming itself, we should likewise strive to re-discover our true selves from deep within, making the most of the present moment, detaching ourselves from excessive materialism, and most importantly cherishing the simple things in life.