I think I've got it down, this relaxing thing. Not quite a master yet, but getting there.

Not long ago, I spent an afternoon reading David Brooks's new book, The Road to Character. It wasn't just taking time for a nourishing read—which, for the record, is my favorite way to relax—it was creating the energy of relaxation. Under a tree, lying on a lovely quilt Stedman bought for me at a homemade-handmade festival in North Carolina.

I did some reading. I paid attention to my surroundings: the way the light dappled through the leaves...the sound of real twitter (you know, birds). I spotted the chatty blue jay.

I marked my favorite passages. And thought about Brooks's take on what he calls our "moral ecology" and our "broad shift from a culture of humility to the culture of...the Big Me."

Note to self and producers: This will make a great conversation for Super Soul Sunday.

Later, I took a long hot bath, indulged my skin with some bigarade lotion (mmm—smells so good, like orange blossoms), then dressed casually for a barbecue at a friend's house. I watched the sun set and the moon rise over the ocean while sipping chilled tequila over crushed ice with lime.

Every minute of this day was worthy of note. Not because any big, important thing happened but because the day itself was, as Marilynne Robinson writes in another book I just finished, Lila, "one of those days that is so mild and bright you know you'll never see a better one. The weather just flaunting itself."

The quality of light and air, the breeze and sunshine all made it feel like a gift just to be alive.

For me, that's the ultimate in relaxation. Cherishing the good times.

And for sure, I want some more.

For excerpts from two of Oprah's latest favorite reads- David Brooks's The Road to Character and Marilynne Robinson's Lila—download the O app.


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