May As Well Be Happy
“...But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the house next door, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live in a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records...”
Naomi Shihab Nye (excerpt from “So Much Happiness”)
I woke at four, and lay in bed worrying about the enormous limb that fell on my house yesterday, pounding my brand new, not-even-paid-off-yet roof, and hauling power lines and cable into the grass of the back yard. Another tree now has to be cut down, another chunk of money I don't have. And then there's that crazy man building walls and deporting children. So much to worry about. What can I possibly do but read poetry! And, yes, why not poetry about love! Already, I feel better.
Honestly, I have a worry quotient that's kind of like an egg timer. It dings when it runs out of steam. How much time and energy can I put into hand wringing and pacing before I have to take an extended break and actually do something constructive. I figure, I'm still alive, still breathing, still mostly healthy. I still have Miss Liza, two strapping man-sons, one gorgeous, brilliant daughter-in-law, and some highly valuable friends and family. What on earth am I whining about. As my mountain daddy would say, “Get over yourself, girl, and get going!”
So, what you get this morning is love poetry. Poetry that celebrates life in the midst of strife, and knows that as long as breath lasts, hope lasts, joy lasts. We can focus on what is good and right, or we can focus on all that is wrong. I choose to see the possibilities, and to do my part to find solutions for the rest.
In the Spirit,