When I was a child I hardly ever took notice of such trivial things as when the seasons changed. I did recognize a difference between Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall because of the weather and because of the things that happened at school.
I knew a lot of happiness as a child and I have known a lot of happiness as an adult. I think it was The Apostle Paul who told the world that he was content in every situation wherein he found himself.
Happiness is kind of a two-edged sword when you think about it. Happiness can be found in the direst of circumstances if one can come to the realization that there is happiness in hope.
I have just come through a bout with arthritis and it was very painful. But now the sun is shining again and the pain is gone for the time being. I consider this moment in time a time of happiness. (One moment of happiness among millions of them in a long life such as mine.).
A key to appreciating good health and a pain-free life and knowing the happiness of such an existence is that no one can truly appreciate healing unless they have suffered pain. No one can really apprehend the light unless they have experienced the darkness.
Happiness manifests in many varied and sundry ways — some obvious and up front and others mysterious, subtle and sometimes hidden from view.
One of the points I am trying to make here is that true happiness is sufficient in and of itself to satisfy the longings of the one seeking it. Where true happiness abounds there is little or no notice of any of the small inconveniences of life. Happiness does not “Observe” the passing seasons, it embraces them and they become a part of the happiness. There is a difference between “Seeing” something and being immersed in it.
Yes, happiness is the warmth of a dog snuggled with you under the covers in front of a fireplace in a secluded cabin on a mountaintop in the driving, icy blasts of Winter and it is the comforting purr of a furry cat being stroked while you rock in a rocking chair remembering the years that have gone by.
Happiness is the memory of Mom or Dad or Grand Pap, or of the wistful grace of a spouse long since departed but still living brightly in one’s imagination.
The cold of winter can be happiness when one is assured of a place before a working heating stove or a fireplace.
The searing, suffocating heat of August days can be happiness when one knows there is a shade tree just a few steps distant — or the gurgling refreshment of a shaded creek splashing over rocks where one can cast of one’s shoes and wade or swim.
Happiness is the knowledge that wherever we find ourselves we are at one and the same time at both the beginning and end of some kind of journey. There is joy in the apprehension that a journey portends and when we feel like we are living at the end of the earth we can find solace, joy, and comfort in knowing that every living creature exists at the end of their portion of the earth which all Life shares. There is a subtle goodness in knowing about the unity of all living things.
Festive occasions are joyous by their very nature and darknesses of every kind and description can be sources of happiness if one understands the concept that the sun shines after the clouds have rolled by — and in every storm, the clouds never fail to roll by!
One thing about life is that our seasons of darkness are never forever and even in the blackest of nights we can always find a hint of light. This too shall pass!
Sometimes I find happiness in sitting still, in a comfortable chair, coffee nearby, photo album in hand — studying the images of my parents, my grandparents and some of the people I once knew who are not here in the flesh anymore. The tears I shed at such times are not remorse but are the tears of remembering the good times with good people and all the good things they did for me and said to me.
Think of the serene beauty of an apple blossom in a fresh green orchard or of the sunlight of the afternoon illuminating the interior of an old barn while you take a nap on the hay — Or think of the lapping of the waves against the rock-strewn shore as you contemplate bathing in a large lake 300 miles from the nearest hint of civilization — or of the pounding of the mountain waterfall while you are camping in the remote gorges of a distant canyon …. These are the things that happiness is made of.
A warm comfortable room, good food on the abundance of a well-laid table, something absolutely delicious resting on the tongue … happiness!
Friends and adventures and travels to strange and distant places — comfortable hotel rooms with plush beds and round-the-clock room service — a working windmill where they serve hot fresh donuts made on the premises along with freshly pressed apple cider — with your wife and Three kids in tow.
Those secret places between time and space where only you know and where only you go to bathe in the light of happiness that flows down from the eternal vastness of everything and everywhere wherever you are.