Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Jordan Playing in the Leaves, photo by Dad

Jordan Playing in the Leaves

My brother is not off the hook for his guest post about music and mountains, but I must admit that this photo he did share of his son at play in a field of leaves was quite an autumn treat.  A 3-year old the size of a 5-year old with big brown eyes filled with wonder at the world.  My brother wrote that it is an image that makes him want to sit and write “about the joy and emotions of Fall and Winter.”  I hope he does put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and that Jordan keeps playing in the leaves. 😉

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It has been a hard month, a hard summer, a hard year, for so many family and friends.  I read their words and hear their voices, and all I have been able to do, in the end, is absorb and listen.   On occasion I have been able to touch, to hug, and to encourage others to take such action.  Sometimes I have offered words of advice but I am beginning to think that, for the most part, those words of advice could be a song or poem or a passage from a book.  The words from my mouth are not so important as is my literal or figurative presence.  I am lucky to have them in my lives as well.

Despite the title of this post, I do not feel at the center of it all, whatever “it” may be.  As a writer, photographer, storyteller, I feel on the periphery, observing the chaos of life from odd angles that reveal ambiguities, sadness, horror, pain but almost always, great beauty, too.  When I talk with the friends and family who are struggling I find myself wishing … and then I stop myself.  I cannot live other peoples’ lives, but I can and often do ask them, “Without ignoring all that’s going wrong, what is going right? What’s one thing making you happy?”  One lovely friend will have a tendency to say, “Well, at least my cat is not dead … yet.”  And I’ll say, “Exactly!” 😉

These are the rambling thoughts that come to mind this Sunday morning as I hold close in my heart those who may be feeling a bit alone or vulnerable or just unsure of next steps.  I certainly feel that way about some things too.  And with that said, what is one thing making me happy at this moment?  It is the morning sun falling upon this apple creating a little apple universe.  At least I see the stars.

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Here’s my short list of things making me smile at this moment:

* a small red clay frog sitting on my desk, its bright black eyes shining in the lamplight.  I bought it for my friend Melissa but I keep forgetting to mail it to her.

* the wily little mouse in Steve’s kitchen and Steve’s fervent wish that it would simply learn to wear diapers.  Meanwhile he’s feeding it … I mean baiting it … with increasingly gourmet concoctions, from hummus to fresh strawberries.

* recent conversations with my oldest brother as he shares more family stories from a time when I was too little to notice anything but a baby bottle.

*beautiful African images (see above) just shared by a nephew who has more of the travel bug in his blood than his world-traveling aunt ever did.

Maybe there will be more things by the end of the day.  I must admit the impetus for this post was just viewing Ron Gutman’s TED video, The Hidden Power of Smiling.

So … what’s making you smile?  😉

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