we have all decided, is silly. I am glad you agree with me that happiness comes from within, is fleeting and cannot be pursued and caught. Happiness is temporary, comes in flashes and is mostly so quiet that we hardly notice it’s there. Contentment is a word much favoured.
Realise that true happiness lies within you. ( - Lucian)
But there is a kind of happiness which more resembles a thunderbolt hurled by Zeus, which hits you squarely in the solar plexus; it takes your breath away, and is also known as ‘falling in love’. It is the all consuming kind of happiness that makes you move on air. You are walking down the road, on the way to the supermarket to do some completely unexciting grocery shopping, pulling your shopper trolley behind you, and you are wondering why people are being particularly friendly today and everyone seems to smile at you and then you realise that that is because you are smiling at them and they see the great joy on your face and they cannot help themselves but respond to it on this most beautiful of all mornings ever. Falling in love is perhaps nature’s greatest high. Just seeing your beloved can make your heart race, your legs weak and your face flushed. ( - A.Pawlowski)
Much though we might want it to last that passionate kind of love has an expiration date for everyone, I’m told. That doesn’t mean that happiness cannot last, it just turns into the calm, peacefully happy state of being which is so important for a contented life. If you’re lucky.
A good friend gave me dinner the other evening, just him and me, a bottle or two and some delicious home cooking. Andrew has been extremely good to me since Beloved died and he still lets me ramble on patiently. Talking to him I repeated, for the umpteenth time, how wonderful our life together had been. Even mentioning it made me smile happily. In his own life, Andrew prefers solitude to twosomeness and I’ve been asking him for tips on how to make a solitary life a contented life. In spite of being unable to envisage it for himself, Andrew said :"what you had is not given to many.”
I wouldn’t say that I am blissfully happy now but there are periods of quiet contentment, which last longer as time moves on. The thought of those wonderful years together comforts me and yes, of course, I miss Beloved, but thinking of him, and us, is gradually turning the pain into acceptance.
Easter has been wonderfully warm and sunny and I have rediscovered how much I enjoy gardening. My hands are stiff, my back is sore, my nails are short and broken and black with dirt and I am very tired. Happily tired, with a full load of natural endorphins, which is much more satisfying than taking happiness chemicals.
Marcel Proust had something to say on the subject:
"But I must not forget that happiness springs eternal and that digging in the dirt and planting flowers are a wonderful source of delight. . . . . . .Let me wish each of you a wonderful day and week ahead, and that you will find happiness.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Let me wish all of you, dear readers, a wonderful day and week ahead and a happily contended spring, whatever you do to make it so.