Humor Break

Well, actually it’s a broken humerus. Mine. Right (dominant) side.  In three places.

That’s the upper arm bone that connects to your shoulder.  It was a sort of collision between me, my friend’s rambunctious, well-muscled puppy and a fence.  The fence won.

“It’s broken,” the ER doc said after the x-rays.  He had them squirt vials of delightful drugs into my veins, put me in a sling, and gave me the phone number of a specialist to call on Monday for “follow up.”

“How do they fix it?” I asked.  He said sometimes they just keep it in the sling.  Sometimes they put pins in it.  (I picture a voodoo doll.) He was low-key, comforting as he wrote out a script for me.  Then, after telling me to rest and put ice on it, he was off to see the next patient.

The nurse helped me get into a wheel chair, since the delightful drugs were kicking in really well.  “Three breaks,” she said in a kind of confidential tone.  The number flashed in purple-pink neon in my brain.  “That sounds like surgery to me.  But then I’m just a nurse.”

I work with seasoned nurses like her every day.  I understand that she thinks I should have that possibility spelled out for me and appreciate her candor.

I’ll find out on Monday.

Meanwhile, I’m going to take a break, no pun intended, from posting new stuff here until I get my bearings.  Typing with one hand is really, really awful!  And-booooo!-taking pictures is no snap (sorry) either.

So roam around the archives for awhile.  Some really good stuff lurks there, if I do say so myself.  I’ll pop in when I can and come back with barrels of fresh joy as soon as I’m able.  If you’re not already on the mailing list, sign up now and you’ll get my “I’m baaaack!” letter the very minute I can send it.

(She exits, stage right, blowing kisses.)

The Simplicity of Happiness

Simple little wildflowersThe sweet thing about happiness is you don’t have to be rich to have it.  Or thinner, younger, smarter, taller, faster, or bold.  You don’t need more toys, or talents, or shoes, or hair.

Happiness doesn’t care where you live, or what you call your god or whether you do.  It doesn’t care what flag you fly, what paddles your boat, or which side your bread is buttered on.  Why, you don’t need any bread or butter or boats at all to be happy.

You don’t need to have rhythm or be able to carry a tune.  You don’t have to know how to juggle or whistle or play a kazoo.  (Although, I will say, it can definitely help.)

All you have to do to get you some is remember what it feels like.  Go ahead, try some on for size.  Turn up the corners of your mouth and let it be.


Happy Flags

ForsythiaAs if she knew we needed it, Spring opened up her yellow.  “Have some cheer!” she sang, splashing it on the forsythias, painting whole hillsides with daffodils.  No corner escaped her play.  Everywhere your eyes fell, happy flags were dancing in the breeze.

We had forgotten that anything could be that bright, that happiness could be so pure.  It spilled into our eyes and flew across our neurons, electrifying every fiber.

We were awake again in the land of Yes and miracles, where everything was possible and joy sailed the skies.

The Sheer Bliss of It All: A Happiness Tale

Tree budHe had no idea what would happen next.  (But then none of us does.  And that, of course, is what makes it so exciting.)  In fact, he never even thought about it.  For him, “next” might as well have been a thousand years away.

Far too much was happening for him to even care what the next hour might bring. Whole symphonies were playing inside him.  His veins throbbed with the pulse of thick and luscious juices.  Cells were being born by the thousands.  New structures were taking shape.  And all of it was following some grand, invisible plan.

His skin felt the rush of passing air, now cool, now warm, and his pores opened to drink in its sweet moisture and its powerful waves of light.  It carried fragrances and music to him and stroked the tiny hairs on his surface as it danced by.

He was simply heady with the joy of it all, even more so because the same spectacular experience seemed to be happening for every other living thing as well.  He could hear his neighbors’ sighs of bliss rising in the night and their laughter greeting the mornings.  Life!  How grand!  How stunningly, amazingly grand.

The Light Heart of Happiness

Weeping Cherry BlossomIt wasn’t that she was immune to life’s challenges.   Why, what with the late snow and the powerful winds that had swept past, just opening her petals had been a major task, requiring every bit of focus and energy that she had.

She had watched as some her neighboring buds succumbed to the cold or were ripped from their stems just as they were about to open, and she had felt grief over losing their companionship, and sorrow for their unfulfilled potential.

Today’s wonderful warmth had already brought the insects.  She could feel their tiny feet tip-tapping around on the back of her petals.  Soon, bigger, hungrier ones would come and begin to gnaw on them.

No, she was quite aware how fragile life is and how difficult and dark some of its passages could be.

But even though she was still quite young, she had already learned a great secret.  If she dwelt in the memories of the dark times, they eclipsed the beauty she could be enjoying right now.  And if she spent her moments worrying about the difficulties that the next hour or day might bring, she would be blind to this moment’s delights.

And so, she surrendered herself to the present, doing what was before her to do, and deeply feeling all the sensations and emotions that flowed through her. And as each moment passed, she opened herself to the next.

One by one, she met the challenges as they came.  And one by one, she emerged on the other side of the sorrows, more grateful and compassionate because of them.  And what she discovered in living this way, focused in the moment, was that the goodness and beauty of life far outweighed its problems and pain.

And so she collected the moments’ joys, and reveled in them, building a treasury of them as if they were jewels.  And her heart was light and filled with happiness.  And she flourished and was beautiful and strong.

Happiness Flowing

"Daffodil"From deep within the cosmic heart of the grand and sacred Yes, happiness flows on its stayless course, out into the nebulae and the galaxies with all their fiery stars, out to the very edges of being.  And reaching them, it shapes itself into form, creating new reflections of itself, out of love, out of joy.

It flows with ease in currents of song that generate all the atoms, and they dance to its ever changing melodies.   And when we see them with our slow earth eyes, we give their dances names and imagine that each flowing pattern is a being unto itself.  “Maple,” we say.  “Robin.  Daffodil.”

But the truth of it is that it’s all an endlessly flowing whole, an infinite stream of happiness, pouring from the heart of the all-loving Yes, just to bless us with its joy.

Happiness Salad

Mixed salad greensDish yourself up some crispy green joy.  Lay in a layer of smooth satisfaction. Sparkle it with some slices of snappy delight.  Add a touch of velvety gratitude, and a handful of crunchy pride.  Mellow it out with some silky serenity.

Then toss it with love, drizzle it with creamy contentment and let it flow like inspiration over your tongue.

Feel free to heap on whatever tickles your taste.  Personally, I like mine sprinkled with laughter, spiked with a dash of wonder and awe.

At the End of the Day

Light through the TreesAt the end of the day when the rush and tumble stills and your thoughts unwind the hours, let them drift to the places where kindness spilled its light, where laughter broke through.  Let them dwell on the moments when you connected with someone, heart to heart.

Watch from way up high.  See how touching your ordinary moments were, how satisfying your accomplishments, even of small things.  Notice how skillfully you performed all those little acts you take so easily for granted.  And rest a bit in the happiness of it all.

Dip into the pleasures and delights and savor their sweetness and spice all over again—the melodies, the rhythms, the motion, the colors, the fragrances and textures and tastes.  Appreciate the richness and variety you encountered, even when you weren’t really paying attention.  See how the memory remains even so.

Let the glow of forgiveness and compassion bathe you, enveloping you in its freeing warmth.  Let it wash over all the acts you would undo, and those committed by others that piqued your irritation or ire, and let them dissolve in its waters and be healed.

Then rest, with a heart glad and free, and dream sweet dreams.  Dream sweet dreams.

Radiant Coins of Joy

ColtsfootScattered along the roadside, as if angels had dropped golden coins, the coltsfoot appeared today.  Not many, I suppose, noticed.  The blossoms are hardly bigger than a quarter, after all, and grow low to the ground.

But when they caught my eye, I shouted their name right out loud.  Coltsfoot!  They’re the first wildflowers of spring hereabouts, and sighting them feels as lucky as seeing the first robin.  They’re plentiful, edible, and absolutely gorgeous in a spring salad.  They have multiple healing and magical properties, too.

And as if that were not wondrous enough, when you take a blossom in your hand and look at it closely, its beauty is so stunning that it can almost make you cry.  Look at this intricate design, with the little buds inside that open into blossoms within blossoms, and the delicate little seeds dancing on their pale green stems, and the joyous radiant petals, fanning out like a child’s drawing of the sun.

And here they are, just wantonly scattered along the roadside, little golden coins of joy, free for the taking.  How can you see such a thing and not know that all is well, and that we are loved?

Just Suppose . . .

Sun rays and cloudWhat if you could let go of wanting it to be otherwise?   What if you just breathed all your disappointment, fear, sadness, anxiety, anger, frustration, envy, self-loathing, and bitterness (all of it) into a big purple balloon, tied a tight knot, and let it go.

Suppose right after you did that, a huge white wind blew out of nowhere and swept that balloon far, far into the sky.  Suppose you watched it (even though the wind was still blowing so hard it made you squint your eyes) until it turned into a tiny dot and then just, well, completely disappeared.

How would you feel then?

Washed? Natural? Happy? Free?

What if you could?