There is a teaching in Chassidism that states "a pleasure that is constant is no pleasure." The simple meaning of this seems obvious enough, if some delight is always available then the "pleasure" is diminished in comparison to a pleasure we experience rarely.
There are many Malibu mornings at the water where I find myself next to a tourist from another part of the world. Often, when this occurs, my son David’s award winning music video titled "90265 is a Zip Code in Heaven,” pops into my head.
Indeed, how often do visitors come into our home or the adjacent and marvel at the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean with the famed in the background? Living every day with this expansive view of the ocean makes it into a constant pleasure that, of course, somehow manages to lessen the "pleasure" component.
Once in a while, though, I am reminded how blessed we are when these very same visitors whip out their cameras and start capturing "Kodak Moments." While the Chabad house where I grew up was wonder filled, it certainly wasn't as picturesque or the type of place were people felt the need to snap a picture. Here in Malibu people from all over the world seem to agree where we are located, is the quintessential must have photo opportunity of Los Angeles.
In fact the more I am reminded of the extraordinary delights we are blessed with living here in Malibu, an abundant sense of gratitude floods my heart. Just the other day our children went hiking with their preschool in , where they had the opportunity to discover the qualities and differences among the variety of trees and plants learning which plants are edible and which are poisonous. They enjoyed walking along the stream, rock hoping and creating a whole new set of memories. All of that was followed by a picnic by the ocean and a swim in the school pool and then finally they called it a day. Imagine, so many wonders of nature and so much fun to be had all in one day and all within fifteen minutes from our home. What a paradise we live in!
If only there could be a formula, a way, to re-experience the pleasure of taking in all the beauty and wonder around us, every single day? And what if you could see the ocean every single day as if it was the first time you had ever seen it? Just contemplating these questions has given me a whole new perspective and new level of gratitude. I remember as a child, when we had the rare opportunity to go to the beach or the chance to take a walk in nature, the calming effect it had on us. It allowed a wild bunch of kids to be “conflict free” for those few hours.
Similarly when we stop and allow ourselves a moment to experience the miracle and pleasure in the magnificent power of the Pacific Ocean and the divine feeling of serenity and peace in the natural setting that surrounds us, we give ourselves the gift of recognizing the gift from G-d we live in, each and every single day. Perhaps, then, 90265 really is the zip code of heaven!