You Don't Need Much to Be Happy

They say, you don't need much to be happy...

They say, that happiness is a choice, or a state of mind or being, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around that today...

In a few short hours, I will attend the wake of a young woman, a beloved former student, cut down in the prime of her youth, at the same time that I await to hear if a nephew will be hospitalized...

And somehow, in my heart of hearts, I know that all these things are true - happiness is a choice - it comes from living more fully in the present and accepting all that is - as it is. And I know that it is gratitude that opens the door...

I have tried to learn this lesson this year. I have tried to embody it - and yet it still eludes me. I know that illusion occludes this reality from being fully understood and embraced...

I have walked this last week or so - listening to these lyrics by Mary Chapin Carpenter - hoping that every day, in every way, they become more firmly woven into the fabric of my life:

Don’t need much to be happy
four walls and a roof overhead
books and food in my belly
cool sheets upon the bed

A fire that warms up December
sound of a thaw in the eaves
sometimes it’s hard to remember
how tough we are to please

All in good time
somehow I find
days that still shine with light
all in good stead
I’m safe and I’m fed
with dreams in my head
good night
The feel of my hand being taken
driving at night all alone
the breeze on a warm summer evening
and coming home

All in good time
somehow you find
days that still shine with light
all in good stead
You’re safe and you’re fed
with dreams in your head
good night

Don’t need much to be happy
a friend to soften a fall
and something to show for my labors
after all

I had to learn to be grateful
I had to learn how to see
mistakes that might have proved fatal
are gifts I now receive

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