There is a small archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa whose name escapes me at the moment. The name isn't the important part; the important part is the group of people who have inhabited these islands for millenia and developed a unique and thriving culture. Unfortunately, I can't recall what these people are called either, but once again that not really important.
What is important is the language these kind, peaceful people have developed. Linguists have noted that unlike other languages, which have developed out of practical necessity, this language is based on the description of emotions. The one word in this language that I want to focus on is the word for a Pavlovian type of behavior found in humans in which one action inevitably cause the same reaction. That word is aharuf, and it is translated as meaning the process by which the sight or thought of a particular person, place or object triggers an instantaneous lowering of the gnar (a concept most like blood pressure), a sharp rise in the Qarlo (most closely related to our understanding of endorphins) and an unavoidable beaming grin like that of the upper-paradise squink (a horselike quadraped very similar to the common American jackass).
After a long journey, I have found me aharuf, two people whom I cannot think about without splitting my face in a joyous smile. No matter what is going on around me, all I have to do is bring them to mind and I'm transported to a better place. They are my wife, Habon, and my daughter Ayaan.
This book is dedicated to Habon and Ayaan in, as Miss Malone might say, internal, undying gratitude for bringing me joy and guaranteeing that at the end of each day my cheeks will be sore from far too much smiling.