The phrase refers to the period around the winter solstice that is associated with calm weather, which in Greek mythology was attributed to the power of the fabled halcyon bird that was said to calm the wind and sea.
All of us crave for living that period of perfection, the calm, the peak of happiness.
All of this is made possible by a specific, disturbing and very new version of ‘happiness’ that holds that bad feelings must be avoided at all costs. This imperative to avoid being unhappy has led to a culture that rewards a performative happiness, in which people curate public-facing lives, via Instagram and its kin, composed of a string of ‘peak experiences’ – and nothing else.
Behind every facade of perfection is a writhing mess of subterfuge and secret sorrows.
These days, we pursue happiness rather than letting it come to us. We try to collect moments of happiness like shells at the beach, even as the waves wash them away. The pursuit is Sisyphean. Life would not be worth living if it floated only between peak experiences.
What if we reconditioned ourselves: not to want but to be satisfied in all feelings? What if we could enjoy those little things in life?