"Work is necessary; it can be nothing less than a passion; a person is happy in accomplishment."
The children came back after the break ready to work! Putting the child in contact with the activity they most want and need is immensely rewarding. There is nothing that makes me so happy as to sit and observe a child who is doing exactly what she is meant to be doing.
The following quote is from a man I have heard speak at several Montessori conferences. Montessori and he both describe the feeling of contentment people have after deeply satisfying work. Montessori describes the work as occuring during a deep and undisturbable time of concentration. Csikszentmihalyi calls this time of concentration "flow."
"It does not seem to be true that work necessarily needs to be unpleasant. It may always have to be hard, or at least harder than doing nothing at all. But there is ample evidence that work can be enjoyable, and that indeed, it is often the most enjoyable part of life."
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990