Here I sit on an April Sunday afternoon: comfy at my desk; enjoying the soft breeze coming in through my window and all the beauty that spring brings along. When Deborah and I came back from class today, we took Izzy for a long walk around our neighborhood - up into the hills where the "rich people live". The sun was warm and bright (though it's spring "playmate" is usually a mischievous little breeze that likes to hide in the shadows, and then jump out and pinch my cheeks just when I'm thinking it's warm!). Izzy loves these walks! She is the picture of "happiness" - kind of like below!
Though this picture isn't of Izzy (she's a little chihuahua, who runs too fast for me to take a snapshot of!), it captures perfectly the complete joy and sense of happiness she seems to have whenever we go for a walk. Always something new to see, to do, to sniff, never in a hurry to get back home - looking over her shoulder at Deborah and I as if to say, "Come on! This is so cool!", while flashing a doggy grin.
And this afternoon, I feel just as happy, so that's what I thought I'd write about. I wrote 3 months ago about "What Made Me Happy", so I thought I'd return to that topic and see what was new that I could "dig up". What makes me happy today?
- Seeing the first brave red tulip pop up underneath my office window makes me happy. I love its courage (the mornings are still a bit frosty!), and its willingness to be a "pioneer posey".
- Just spotted some new "hired help"! Two scrub blue jays, my new gardeners, are hopping around our front yard, picking and pecking, doing some spring cleaning. They make me smile as they hop around the yard: one doing most of the work, the other "supervising" from the top of the crabapple tree. Oops! One of the jays just dove into the birdbath for a drink and a dip - must be "Quitting Time!" Funny!
- The smell of freshly mown grass. Why do I enjoy that so? What memories does it evoke? Boyhood chores from a time past? Or perhaps something more primal? Proof that I've "carved my home out of the wilderness" like a settler of old? I don't know. But I do know that if a color could smell, "green" would smell like my yard after I've mowed it, and I love to breathe it in.
- Our beautiful home makes me happy. We've worked hard for the last month, cleaning, painting, organizing, and re-doing. Soft new carpet in the front room that begs for bare feet to snuggle into it; new counter tops and sink in the kitchen, a shiny new stove on its way. But what makes me smile is not the objects, but the love that they represent. Love born of shared efforts and shared joys. Our home is beautiful to me because it is filled with love.
- Hearing my wife laugh! A couple of days ago a friend of hers sent her a link to this video, called "Back To Work after 30 Years" (click on the link below). Deborah's laugh is like a bell, infectious and full. It always makes me happy to hear her happiness, spilling out of her!
These things, and so much more, are the music that make my soul smile and sing this afternoon. It's good to remember these things, and to be grateful for them. I know that Spring will also bring its clouds and showers; its muddy puddles and chill winds. But that's all part of Life's great cycles.
I loved something that Guy said in class today.
"Love is always changing its form. It's always there. When you think it's gone, it's still there. You just don't have the eyes to see it".
I want to keep remembering to keep my eyes open. After all, what else does a man need in order to be happy?