In her book Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes about her search for a word that means being happy and sad at the same time but a little more happy than sad, like the way you feel when you listen to a Van Morrison song. She rejects "melancholy" and "bittersweet" because both of those are more sad than happy, but she eventually comes up with "wabi-sabi," which is a Japanese expression she saw defined in a magazine that apparently captures more happy than sad.
Maybe it does, but I'm thinking that you have to really understand and appreciate the nuances of a language before you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt whether a particular word is a little more happy than sad or a little more sad than happy. In other words, if Amy Krouse Rosenthal doesn't speak Japanese I don't see how she would know that "wabi-sabi" is really a little more happy than sad because it's not enough just to read a definition. So I decided I would try to think of a word in English that captures this.
And I am pleased to report that I have. How do you feel when you walk by a house you once admired with your first love? You don't feel nostalgic, which is too much happy with almost no sad, like how you might feel when you think about how much fun you had at your friend's wedding. No, you feel wistful.