Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Steps to Happiness

Nyssa Sylvatica
I used to wonder why old people would go into raptures about what seemed to me to be small things.  "Those roses are so beautiful," my mother would say, admiring a newly picked vase full of roses from the garden.  Or my grandmother, sitting in the chair she sat in all day until she went to bed, barely able to walk or see, would admire the colours of the pin-oak as its leaves changed in autumn.

But now I am myself d'un certain age, I know why they did it.  They did it because you can't rely on the big stuff.  Friends desert you.  People you love die.  There are earthquakes and bushfires.  The Christian-fascists go on relishing their hate.  Your health deteriorates.  You lose your job.  Your young hopes are unfulfilled.

So you learn to be happy in small things.

Cyclamen Hederifolium
Claret Ash
Today is the second day of autumn here in Oz.  In our township's gardens, nerines are in blossom.  Strange lilies, their trumpet-shaped pink flowers appear long before their leaves.  The cyclamen hederifolium, which I first saw under venerable beech trees in the south of France in a carpet of pink and white the size of two rugby fields, also flowers before its leaves come.  Brave little flower heads of a flawless white are thick under the claret ash.  The maples are tinged with hectic red, and purple and orange; the pin-oak has a new scarlet or crimson or peach leaf every day; and the nyssa's leaves are one by one turning a perfect salmon.  We had our first mild frost this morning, but the sky is cloudless and clear, and it looks like being an utterly perfect day.

Like my mother and grandmother before me, my happiness is made up of these small things.  Just as well, really.


Anonymous said...

A news story made me happy today. It was about this guy

He was nearly killed by two men while running in Africa. One hit him with a machete, another with a bat. They stole his shoes.

His vengeance? He founded a charity to give shoes to Africa.
What a beaut man.

Nigel said...

The world is divided into takers and makers. This guy is a maker. "What a beaut man". Right on.