Last summer I traveled a long, dry rocky and rough track through the mountains. There were long vistas of ridges beyond ridges and deep, steep roadless canyons. It was a hot, sunny, still and cloudless day under a seemingly endless blue sky.
Somewhere past halfway to the destination I came across a spring-fed pool. The water sheeted down a short rock wall and collected in an old porcelain tub before spilling over and trickling into the dusty trail.
There were a few smallish oak trees that shaded this spot and so I stopped and rested. I splashed water on my face and arms and wet my hat before putting it back on my head. I paused and studied the scene. The water flowed with barely a sound. The tub held clear water and some green algae and many water creatures. No breeze moved the leaves above.
The tub itself had broken apart over time. Some of this from rust, but likely also due to falling rocks. Other persons had plugged some of the larger cracks in the tub with stones and moss so that it was still mostly full of life-giving water.
Then I sat and felt the energy of this place more profoundly. I stopped thinking and just felt the rocks and trees and the water flowing through the tub. There was a palpable sense that all is well. The tub was busted and old and rusted, but it was still holding water and occupying this spot just as it should. I felt the contentment absorb into my body and calm my mind. I felt the fact that even though I have aches and mistakes in my history, all is truly well. I could feel the supreme balance of this place and this moment inside me. Nothing to do or improve. Nowhere to go. No searching or striving needed.
I named this the Tub of Contentment and it lives inside me still. I visit this place in my meditation when I want to slow down and just be.