I Shouldn't Be This Happy
But right now, in this moment, I am.
I woke up this morning feeling happy. I actually tried to squash it, this feeling of such happiness, because…
…I don’t know. Maybe because I thought I shouldn’t. I thought I didn’t deserve it. I thought I could never be happy without Ed. I thought of all the suffering in the world, and even closer to home, and thought, I suppose, that there should be no room for any kind of joy.
But this morning I looked out the kitchen window while it was still dark out and saw the moon—a waning gibbous moon, but still round enough—and my breath caught.
And I smiled.
That was all it took. The house was quiet. The coffee was brewing. Outside, it was 17 degrees (Fahrenheit) and the wind was blowing the last of the snow off of the Cedars. And, inside, I was happy.
I drove downstate to see the family over Thanksgiving—360 miles by myself—and had a lovely holiday. I caught myself in tears just once, remembering how Ed loved Thanksgiving and how the turkey and the stuffing were his to make. We were trying to remember how he did it so at least that tradition would be the same, and...we messed up the stuffing somehow. Then I had to laugh. I know our Ed: he would have gotten such a kick out of holding the title of The Eternal Master of the Stuffing.
I planned on driving back on Monday, keeping the weekend for visiting other relatives, but a winter snow warning put an end to that. I was having my coffee on Saturday morning, thinking I should check the weather for Monday, and when I did I saw that Saturday—that very day—was the only safe day for traveling until well into the next week. So I packed up and headed out into the sunshine.
By 11 AM I was on the road heading north.
I got back on the island by 5 PM, just as it was getting dark, and within a few hours the snow began to fall. By morning it looked like this:
And I was happy. Giddy, even. That first snow does that to me every time. (I try not to think of how much I’ll be hating each new snowfall before winter is over. For now, just give me this.)
I’ve lived in places of beauty before. I’ve lived on Maui. I’ve lived in the Mojave Desert. I’ve lived in Ventura, just steps from the Pacific Ocean. I’ve spent winter months at the Atlantic shore. The wild and ever-changing Lake Superior thrilled me all through my childhood summers. I’ve craved them all for their awesome, joyous beauty and now I’m here, in this place.
If I can spend my days taking it all in, I’d be a fool not to appreciate it.
I try not to be that fool.
I don’t know how to end this now. With an apology? I’m not feeling it. With words of wisdom? I can’t think of any.
How about with an invitation to share your own joy? I hope it’s contagious, if even for a moment. There’s such beauty all around us, everywhere. Free for the taking. Just waiting for us to look up from what we’re doing to see it.
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