Happiness is always there.
You just have to choose to see it.
– Carrie Hope Fletcher –
It has been busy busy here where we live because it is the height of tourist season and very grateful we are too to see the tourists back after the dread covid years but of course it has its down sides. We had become used to year-round quiet so were more than a little surprised and taken aback by the traffic and the queues and lots of people visiting “our” places. So, it had been a while since we had been to one of our favourite bits of the nearby national park. I got out of the car and breathed in the wonderful smell of the salt and the kelp and looked at the seagulls and the swifts swooping over the waves and my heart just leapt with joy at being there again. I felt so happy, happy with my whole being at the sense of homecoming. And that set me thinking about what makes me feel happy, what gives me that lovely feeling of contentment, that little buzz of joy.
Van al die tale wat ek hoor
niks wat my ooit so bekoor.
– C F Visser –
Of all the languages I know
None that pleases so my soul (my own translation)
So now a bit of backstory. My mother tongue is Afrikaans but there were some years when I distanced myself from it because of the politics and abuse practised via the language and in the name of the people who spoke it. It is hard talking about this because I so do not want to malign us all as a group. And yes, there were many brave activists who were afrikaans in language and culture. And now it is already 28 years since our first democratic election and yet it was only the other day that I suddenly realised what great pleasure I was taking in my beloved language! It makes me so happy to listen to its music, to its stories, and of course we are great storytellers! This was a happiness that crept up on me and brought me to sudden tears.
There’s a small pile of books next to my bed and another next to the couch in the lounge. Most were foraged from my own shelves, but the library has certainly brought its side as well. These books sitting there, waiting for me to pull one out to read is such a happy luxury just waiting to be savoured.
And I am again busy knitting a humungous blanket! This is just row after row of knit, knit knit. No thinking required, just the satisfaction of feeling the weight of the work and seeing it grow. It is the most satisfying meditative action and everything about it makes me happy.
Last weekend my grandson leaned across the lunch table, bent his gaze seriously on me and said: Gramma, do you know what creationism is and what Darwinism is? And have you heard of the Voyage of the Beagle? I said I did think I had a grasp on the material, but he was undeterred and spoke at length about these matters, taking in the captain of the Beagle, his accommodations and his gruesome end! It was amusing and moving all at the same time because it seemed like yesterday that he was saying his first word! And of course, it made me happy!
Brave is what you’re doing.
– Emma Donoghue –
And then there is my dear husband whose face lights up when he smiles or laughs, and he does so often, and often and that always makes me happy. It also makes me proud because he is living with Parkinson’s disease and doing so with real fortitude, standing his ground.
Be happy for this moment.
This moment is your life.
– Omar Khayyam –