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It took me 46 years, but…

I finally understand the joy of spring. Ok, maybe I’m a slow learner on this one.  For me, spring has always meant a few different things (depending on where I was living):

1. The beginning of oppressive humidity

2. Pollen everywhere that both gives off a lovely golden sheen, but also sticks to everything

3. The precursor to unbearable heat

4. The time to pick weeds, clean up the detritus from the winter, and try to plant flowers without killing them

This evening, I had to run a quick errand that involved walking outside for a short while. When I first got out of my car, my first thought was  an odd feeling like the first evening when you are out camping:the  total joy of being on vacation, a slight smell of wood smoke, and the sense that all is right and good. I puzzled over why I would feel like this as I walked toward my destination. After all, it was about 30-ish degrees, snow is still a dominant feature in the landscape, and it clearly isn’t camping weather.

When I completed the errand and went back outside, the meaning of the odd feeling struck me. I realized that for the first time in several months, birdsong punctuated the post-sunset evening. I could hear owls hooting to each other. Although I cannot identify why, it smelled like the earth was coming back to life after its long winter sleep.  I could smell the new growth just starting to come to life around me. And it occurred to me:

This is what spring should be.

I wanted to spend more time outside to listen to the sounds of life all around me, but the chilly air quickly reminded me that my jacket was hanging on the back of a chair at home instead of being on my body. I had to drink in the life for the brief period I had before I became too uncomfortable in the chilly sunset air. So far since moving here, fall was amazing in its vibrant colors, winter was glorious in its brilliant white majesty, and spring is…

If  there is a heaven on earth, this is the place

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How do you express happiness?

I think we live in a society where everyone wants to be happy but celebrates being miserable.

Think about it. What comprises the vast majority of news stories? Someone’s misery. What is happening on your Facebook feed? People are complaining about . I can’t remember how many times I have heard “Thank God It’s Friday” or have seen cartoons/pictures that depict how much people hate Mondays. If I post something about being happy on my Facebook feed, I receive very few responses, but the moment I post something that has upset me, I receive an overwhelming response.

The old adage is “misery loves company.” Is that because we hope other people feel as bad as we do? If so, why on earth do we celebrate sadness?

I visited an old picture of me, my husband and my older daughter when she was 17 months of age. The year was 2004. I was 6 months pregnant with our second daughter, and the picture was taken on Easter Sunday. As I look at my eyes, I don’t see true happiness there. I remember the time well and how unhappy I was — which seems odd because I had a good job, a loving husband, and a beautiful child. What is there to be unhappy about? Ok, so the pregnancy was a little difficult and my older daughter was never a good sleeper when she was little. My job frustrated and bored me.

Flash forward to today. I no longer remember what it was like to wake up without a smile on my face, a cat purring at me, and two lovely angels who are growing too quickly. I can’t imagine being truly unhappy anymore. I love my work, where I live, and everything about my life.. Yes, I have periods of challenge and the occasional tough situation, but I also have the experience to know that these things are temporary.

I can no longer remember how it feels to be as unhappy as I was in that picture. However, I can’t broadcast that on my social network because no one wants to hear about it.

I’ll just let Pharrell Williams sing about it for me.


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