Happiness is......

Don't waste this beautiful day by staying in the house.... Maybe a few days full of August will yet return, but none will be "morning people" anymore and will begin gray. The year is worn out, ready for its nap. Soon, each day, each tree (except for the conifers. They don't seem to notice.) will be like a rich man throwing gold from his pockets. Each will contribute to the grand color burst, the supreme finale, the romantic last dance, then will let go of the tenacity of life in a extravagant exhibition of earthly wit, beauty, and music orchestrated by gravity. I will sigh once again at the beauty of it all, and say, "Touch me with your kind temperature, your calming nature." Reverently, I will whisper, "Stay....stay." But it never does.

While sorting through gift pieces in an old jewelry box, I visualized a weightless, private smile, and heard a voice-- deep, beautiful and raw that was an escape route, cut off sharply when the choice was to withhold. It was a fine morning of good memories of things said, not said, and, as quality memories tend to be, a bit sprinkled with the sugar of exaggeration, imagination. Such the day began-- an event as delicious as a chocolate bar, as comfortable as a nap with an old Teddy Bear.

A hamburger may be no more than disenchanted steak wearing overalls of gummy, tissue-tasting bread, but I can eat it one-handed while doing something else with the other hand, so I much prefer it to that served atop white linen, requiring elbows tucked and the cooperating etiquette of cutlery. 

Song is the accompaniment of joy. Just because you can't sing well doesn't mean you shouldn't sing. Let those who don't like it leave the room.

Have a simple goal each day, to really look at people, to listen, to give at least one honest compliment that might make a tiny difference. 

A headache comes, based on neck misalignment. I draw the blind, take two generic aspirin, not name- brand because medication should not be so proud of itself, nor costly, and I dim the light until it gleams apocalyptically, and I believe in two small tablets about a tenth as much as I believe in my own will as I crawl between garden printed sheets and wait for floral transformation and the bright side of new day.

Happiness: I can trace our life together along the river. We raised our pant legs, skirt to cool our heels in dirty currents, or watched water roll under the safe cage of the bridge. We skipped stones and made memories, and took the river home on our skin and whispering secrets in our shoes.

If you waste a little time, but are enjoying yourself, that time isn’t wasted.

Happiness does not scar us like injuries do. We are self-consumed a good deal of the time, and often show our scars to the world because it’s what we have to show. That can leave lopsided perception of us.

Optimism is a great state of mind that makes good things come true by its energy.

I find happiness in a quiet, secluded life that has at its core a continuing need to be useful.  

I found it much easier to find happiness by desiring less then by trying to accumulate more.

Happiness makes you taller. Sadness curves your spine. Improve your emotional posture to be receptive to the good things that are to come.

Happiness is surviving the gutted hours of another night when your existence is unknown to you... taking another walk....floating birdlike where clouds murmur into fog and realizing you have never been lost in mist, to stand on a bridge and know you have never been held under water...to smell the halitosis of death from a nearby place of ground and be grateful you yet live...to rely on the day to clear your vision as much as you possibly rely on night dreams to bring to you that which is not apparent...and to see your hands gripping the bridge rail and be acutely aware they are still there to do something-- hopefully something useful.

Happiness is breakfast. I sit with a white plate on my lap and I fork through scrambles of egg. I think about family, those before, the one after, and the genetic intention of varied purpose, the full rhapsodic lines that make our lives and sometimes run a muck.... what we haul, what carries us, what we score and what we lose, what we save, use.... what belongs to us and what to time.... and I quickly realize that  breakfast is a minute part of our reason for happiness.

Happiness is those things found in an all-but-forgotten drawer-- your grandmother's mother-of -pearl hair comb, your mother's hairpins, each with echoes of its owner, if not her scent. And there amid the dust of other things that are losing themselves to pieces, to dust, a pressed rose that offers no memory but must have been significant, a broken pinwheel that you pause to repin, a flat piece of limestone with a picture, a fossil in it, the autograph of a fish. It is quiet happiness, with no wheels for a quick getaway.  It could last all afternoon--- like reunion with old friends or time spent with a stranger who shows promise -- a lingering subtlety, the "Ah-hh-h"some, the sublime.

Let happiness still be fireflies that flash-decorate and relax the landscape from its colorful language of growth.... Let happiness be a steep hill to roll down.... Pull strawberries from their low plants.... Breathe in the smell of rain splattering dirt.... Ride a bicycle in a race with darkness or curfew matured into adult responsibility.... Eat ice cream, two bowls, and maybe, or maybe not, brush your teeth.... Lay on your left side first where your heart more strongly punctuates its beat, and then flat, to let the day peel off and the night roll over you.... Let happiness be a day spent joyfully and given up to peaceful sleep.