"In 1953, twenty-four-year-old Nicolas Bouvier and his artist friend Thierry Vernet set out to make their way overland from their native Geneva to the Khyber Pass."....Bouvier so beautifully reiterates your belief that happiness is never a long stretch, but just a collection of brief extraordinary moments - moments that you need to notice, underline, open up to and soak in with all your being, otherwise they fade away unnoticed.
The Road to Anatolia
....East of Erzurum the road is very lonely. Vast distances separate the villages. For one reason or another we occassionally stopped the car, and spent the rest of the night outdoors. Warm in big felt jackets and fur hats with ear-flaps, we listened to the water as it boiled on a primus in the lee of a wheel. Leaning against a mound, we gazed at the stars, the ground undulating towards the Caucasus, the phosphorescent eyes of foxes.
Time passed in brewing tea, the odd remark, cigarettes, then dawn came up. The widening light caught the plumage of quails and partridges...and quickly I dropped this wonderful moment to the bottom of my memory, like a sheet-anchor that one day I could draw up again. You stretch, pace to and fro feeling weightless, and the word 'happiness' seems too thin and limited to describe what has happened.
In the end, the bedrock of existence is not made up of family, or work, or what others or think of you, but of moments like this when you are exalted by a transcendent power that is more serene than love. Life dispenses them parsimoniously; our feeble hearts cannot stand more.
Page 94, 'The Way of the World' Nicolas Bouvier
Photo: Google Images