For the Cheer of It: A Happiness Tale

For the Cheer of It

By the time she had finished the first batch of autumn berries, September was wholly enamored with red.   It was so bright and bold, she thought, and such a lovely complement to her greens.  She loved its warmth and depth and strength.   It was like the smile of a familiar lover who sees you to your soul.

She found an ornamental maple and, with her finest brush, painted its veins, and stems, and the tips of its leaves.  Then, just for the cheer of it, she drenched its seed pods in the hue.

When she stood back to see her completed work, her heart was stirred with its beauty.  “Perfect!” she sighed.  “Queen Autumn, this one’s just for you.”

Then laughing, she flew off to see what else might like a touch of red, what else might like its smile.

May Goes Exotic: A Happiness Tale


May woke from her night’s rest feeling playful.  She wanted to create something special today, something, oh, colorful, and bold, and, well, exotic somehow.

Surveying the edge of the woods, she found a spot that she thought would be perfect for what  she had in mind.  The greenery there was quite lovely, but it could use a little pop of color.

She whisked out her bright palette; the pastels were for another day.  She wanted intensity and zing.

The she leafed through her dream book, pondering the possibilities.  She needed something large and grand.  Something lemon?  Or oriel orange?  No.  They weren’t it.   She had a taste for something specific.  She would know it when she saw it.  It had to harmonize with the dark bluish greens of the pines, and yet stand out from them.

She turned the pages faster and faster, passionate in her search.  And just as she was nearing her book’s final pages, she saw it and erupted in a laugh.  “That’s it!  A splendid fuchsia rhododendron!” she sang.

The color was perfect, and she loved the way its name rolled over her tongue.  “Fyoo shia roh doh den dron” she chanted, in her deepest voice as if casting some magical spell.   “Fyoo shia roh doh den dron.”

Then she stood and pointed her graceful green finger to exactly the spot that she had chosen and commanded, “Be!”   And a magnificent rhododendron burst full grown before her eyes, singing its joyous song.

Bold Strokes: A Happiness Tale

Pennsylvania Farm Land“I like to begin with bold strokes,” says June.  She has her big brush out and she’s swabbing huge clouds across the sky.   “It opens up the spaces, gives you a sense of drama and adventure.”

She spreads a horizon as far as you can see, sprawls a farm across it, ribbons a highway from one end to the other.  “I mean,” she says, “we came here for the fun of it.  There’s no point in living small.”

She splashes a lake halfway across the scene and then dabs a small-tipped brush in bright yellow.  “I’m not talking size,” she says, seeing my questioning eyebrows.  “I’m talking heart.”  And she dots the fields with ten thousand yellow flowers.

“See?” she says.  “Can’t you just hear them bursting with joy?”

Something in the Air

Goose by WaterfallThe seasons reach a tipping point.  One day, there’s no going back.  Every cell in your body hears the future calling:  Come!

It’s time to bring in the new, to let the past flow into memory.  Create what you will here; give birth to the never-before seen.

Sun-warmed molecules dance around you.  You taste something new when you inhale and it fills you with an eagerness to be vulnerable and bold.  Take risks.  Dare the unexpected.

Distant Shores


From distant shores, dreams beckon, islands of hope, half hidden by the mists of future time.

Their siren call echoes through our sleep and roots itself in our bones.  “Come,” they sing, “Come.”

When we wake, they drift up in unnamed desires, pulling at our wanting for something, oh, larger somehow, and deeper.

And sometimes, when our thoughts are at ease and our hearts are open, we catch a glimpse of their towering possibilities and they startle us with their light.

Some shrink back at moments like these, feeling themselves made small by the grandeur.  But the bold, oh the beautiful bold, leap up, shouting, Eureka!” and set sail.

Let the Magic Begin

Burst Seeds

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!  ~Goethe

The New Year begins!  Both the curtain and the bar are raised.  And we come leaping into this gift of new hours, fresh dreams in hand, full of hope and daring.

Let our faith be firm.  Let us bring to this New Year the best in us: Hearts brave enough to be vulnerable, lips willing to speak our truth, hands eager to reach out in kindness, souls ready to serve.

Let us be alert for goodness and beauty and find them in every hour.  Let us fly our dreams like flags before us.  Let us reach for the stars and climb whatever mountains may appear.  Let us not take no for an answer, but cling instead to our passion for the endless possibilities.

And may the Illimitable Yes that is Love and Peace and Joy sing its song through us all our days and fill us with its grace.

Fanfare for the Sun: A Happiness Tale

Wild sunflower“One last day,” thought August, preparing to make her final pirouette across time’s stage.   In the beginning, she had been unsure, thinking hers was a minor role in the procession of the seasons.

But now she understood that none of the months danced in vain.  Each had its own special light to give, even she.

She cast her gaze over the field, set now for September’s debut.  She had, she realized, danced summer away until it was but a lingering thought.

She had waltzed its bright greens into olives, and whisked in the cool morning mists.  She had ushered in the goldenrod and turned the thistle to seed.  The late summer berries were bright on their bushes.  Spring’s animal babies were grown and adding warm feathers and fur.  And everywhere, the crickets sang, filling the air with their song.

As she watched the morning’s shadows stretch their blues across the golden field, she bowed to the Sun King.  It was he, after all, who choreographed the dance.  She was both humble and proud to dance it.

And so, as the curtain rose on this, her last act, she leapt into the air, high and bold, and flung sunflowers in his honor, scattering them to all the corners of the field until every darkened place sang of his light.

Waking the Flowers: A Happiness Tale

RobinWaking the flowers is specialized work.   They sleep very soundly, you know.  And everything has to be just right – the length of the days, the warmth of the sun and soil, the likelihood that all but a few, brief flurries of snow are gone.

You need someone for the job who is hardy enough to withstand spring’s fickle weather, and has the wisdom to read it.  You want someone with a call distinctive and bold enough to serve as a signal, yet sweet enough to wake the delicate flowers gently.  You want someone who will sing at their birth and encourage them through their first days of cold and rain with his song.

And that’s why they send in the robins.  They perfectly fit the bill.

The robins don’t know that’s why they’re here, of course. They come because it’s where their parents came, and their parents before them.  They think of it as the place with fat, juicy worms where you can find a hot mate and raise a batch or two of babies in the limbs of a leafy maple or soft spruce.

It’s kind of miraculous when you think about it, the way things work out.  You believe you’re just living your ordinary life, and here you are, waking the flowers. You never know what wonders will happen, just because you are here.