In the movies when they want to convey that things are good, that the main character is feeling happy and that there are all sorts of soft fuzzies in their world, well,… then the scene is usually all sun-light, colorful, music crescendoes and the grass is green, skirts are soft and floating and dancing around bare ankles.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes a person happy.
About what it IS to BE… happy.
And this thought came back yesterday as I was sitting with Le Dadz, and it was pouring rain outside, and it was dark and cloudy. And cold.
It was not – in other words – a movie set for happiness.
We were sitting around the open hearth, reading, working, silent. Dogs at our feet.
When the rain stopped, I went for a bicycle ride in the gray. The cold wind bit into the skin on my cheeks and my fingers and toes got so cold that by the end of the 10 miles, they were gladly numb.
The evening was spent cooking, talking, eating. Warming ourselves by the fire. Laughing at the antics of Mr. T who is too smart of this own good.
Simple. Regular. Normal.
So was this ‘happy’? Or was it just the daze of a vacation day where we felt the smoothness of relaxation into our bones?
It was just a… day in the life.. Was there anything special or grandiose about it? When I look back thirty years from now – will I remember it?
I hope so.
Maybe that is what has pushed me to put fingers to keyboard. Because I want to remember it.
Or maybe it’s just that understanding happiness is an important question for me at the moment. Life has changed so much from what I expected it to be. What I planned it to be. I am somedays grappling with understanding what it was and what it is and what it is shaping into – it looks so different from my teenage dreams and even adult goals. So does happiness also look different?
Did I even have a vision of what ‘happy’ is when I was trudging through books in university or working my butt off?
I have a feeling that back then I defined it in terms of a car, a house, a husband, kids, endorphins, love, security, career.
Now it seems to be… moments, deep belly laughs, unexpected beauty, muddy paw prints on my white comforter, a fur-ball cuddled against my hip, purple sunsets, thick silence, the wind in my hair.
Maybe the challenge is not to understand the idea of happiness… but to make the moments stretch to clasp each other.