#happiness

OLD MAN CAUGHT IN THE RAIN

 

 

In the middle of my walk this morning…as my health I try to maintain…I was greeted from the heavens…with an unexpected rain.

 

It’s funny how it works…as the first raindrops and you collide…you immediately look around…for a safe, dry place to hide.

 

But I walk through old neighborhoods…and I didn’t think it bright…to hide on a strangers porch…while still blanketed by the night.

 

Which left me only one option…given the circumstances my reasoning was sane…if I didn’t want to get arrested…I’d have to give in to the rain.

 

And so I did and as I watched the raindrops upon my body find their way…all my apprehension about getting wet…miraculously faded away.

 

There was a rhythm to the rain…I could hear it…I could feel it in my feet…and before I knew it…there I was…dancing in the street.

 

I imagine if anyone was awake and watching…they would think I was insane…and wonder what this old man was doing…dancing in the rain.

 

But I take my walk quite early…it’s a routine for years I have been keeping…which means in most of the houses that I pass…the people are still sleeping.

 

What a shame…I thought to myself…for if this morning they happened to look out their windowpanes…

they would have seen an old man feeling like a young boy

encouraging them to join him…

outside…

dancing in the rain.

 

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ANOTHERVERY GOO DAY

 

 

How lucky are we if, at the end of the day…when our head hits the pillow we can say…as we smile before our eyes close…today was a very good day.

 

Let’s take today for instance…when I awoke…when I opened my eyes…I looked outside and was greeted with the most spectacular sunrise.

 

I read an article about kindness…about a man who stopped in the pouring rain…to help a child…both soaking wet…by reattaching his bicycle chain.

 

We had lunch with our son Bryan…hadn’t seen him in a while…

It was wonderful to talk to him…and great to see him smile.

 

At the grocery store…in the aisle ahead of us we instantly became aware…of a young man reaching to retrieve an item for a lady down low in her wheel chair.

 

In the middle of the day…it could’t have been better staged

our youngest son called to tell us…he and his girlfriend are engaged.

 

While the rest of the country is boiling hot…at our cabin in the trees…a gentle breeze was blowing…it was 72 degrees.

 

We talked to Ali, our daughter…it seemed the stars had all aligned

we got news about her children…our grandchildren….everyone is doing fine.

 

We had a friend over for dinner…she brought mojito’s…which we endorse…Deborah made a cobbler for dessert…peach cobbler with ice cream…of course.

 

In the middle of the evening as if it was preordained…the weather changed and the three of us sat listening to the rain.

 

Looking back how lucky was I to have these moments…and how wonderful to say…before I close my eyes this evening…today was a very good day.

 
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HER DAUGHTER AND THE FIREFLIES

 

 

She is often asked for the secret to happiness…

Her answer comes as a surprise…

for she always tells the story 

of her daughter 

and the fireflies.

 

“My daughter used to chase fireflies out on our front lawn

back and forth she’d pursue them…as their lights blinked off and on.”

 

“She’d turn this way and that way, she’d walk, she’d hop, she’d run.

She was great at chasing fireflies…but she never caught a one.”

 

“Then one night around the campfire…after she had given up the chase

a firefly landed on her arm and a smile lit up her face.”

 

“Look Momma!” she said look at my arm…look…look…can you see?

I wonder if all the time I was chasing fireflies…they were chasing me?”

 

“And it wasn’t until she stopped chasing fireflies”, the old woman said

her face now beaming bright

“That she found the happiness that eluded her…

only then did she catch the light”.

 

People who have heard her tell this story

speak of how her cheeks turn rosy and a gleam comes to her eyes

as she smiles telling the story

of her daughter…

and the fireflies.

 
 
 
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A LITTLE GOOD NEWS

 

 

Today…a little good news…news that, hopefully, makes you glad…

even though this good news…originated from the bad.

This story begins five years ago…it takes its initial breath inside a women’s sadness…grieving her son’s death.

 

Move ahead five years…her son’s birthday is today…

and her grief resurfaces as it always does…for it will never go away.

 

She wanted a way to deal with her grief…in the best way that she could…

Hoping from her sadness…she could create something good.

 

She thought and thought searching for an idea…and when her thinking was done…

She decided to find a way to give…to another mother and her son.

 

Move now to a mother picking up her son’s birthday cake…tears of joy and sorrow she cried when she opened up the cake box and read the note inside.

 

It was from the mother of the son who died…Tyler was his name…written to the mother of the son who lives…whose birthdays are the same.

 

She paid for the cake in honor of her son…to keep his memory bright…

The note said…enjoy the day…make special memories and hug your children and loved ones tight.

 

She chose this way to commemorate her son..to help keep his memory awake…

Because as a mother she loved birthdays…while her son loved birthday cakes.

 

The words were written lovingly…they were compassionate and kind…

Love, Toni, Tylers mom…is how the note was signed

 

I like to think it was the best birthday…and best birthday cake…that family ever had

As one woman found a way for something good…

to come out of something bad.

 

 

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PEEK-A-BOO

 

 

I love a good game of peek-a-boo…it’s quite simple but it’s excitement is immense…all you need are your two hands, your face…and a baby’s innocence.

 

You hide your face behind your hands…you’re gone…the baby doesn’t know what to do…you remove your hands and the baby laughs as you say peek-a-boo.

 

It’s the first game you play with your baby…perhaps the first time you realize how your life will never be the same…and you play it over and over and over again…until it gives way to other games.

 

I remember playing with my children and grandchildren…I remember the time and place…I remember not giving a second thought…that they might be laughing at my face.

 

But I don’t remember, as a baby, my parents playing peek-a-boo…then again…I was a baby…and how many babies do?

 

When I take a moment to stop…to pause and think it through…I can’t remember being on the receiving end in a game of peek-a-boo.

 

Until yesterday on our morning walk…at the marina…by the sea…when a baby manatee decided…he’d play peek-a-boo with me.

 

Since the circumstances were a little different…after all he was swimming in a pool…we played this game of peek-a-boo by baby manatee's rules.

 

He’d hide beneath the water…then pop up for a second or two…I imagine if manatees could talk…he’d be saying peek-a-boo.

 

I was surprised the first time I saw him…and laughed without inhibition or shame…and every time he’d peek-a-boo…my reaction was the same.

 

I’d search the water wondering…where he went…wondering what to do…then laughter would erupt every time he’d peek-a-boo.

 

We played our game for a while…and when I finally bade the baby manatee adieu…

I thanked him for letting me be on the receiving end…in his game of peek-a-boo.

 

 

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A PENGUIN WALKING

 

 

Recently I was blessed to watch a penguin walking…my eyes followed him for a while…and I realized, the more I watched him…the more his walking made me smile.

 

As he waddled in his tuxedo with his own peculiar style…and grace…I began to wonder how many other simple things in life have brought a smile to my face.

 

The moment I began to think about it…from my mind examples flew…so I thought I’d catch the ones I could and write them down for you.

 

When I look at my bald head in the mirror and realize…I don’t need a comb…children praying…a sunrise…a rainbow…welcoming a soldier home.

 

Anytime I see the ocean…a mountain…or the trees…flowers in bloom that welcome into their petals the butterflies and the bees.

 

Finding faces in the clouds before they change as they float across the sky…the chicken dance…a baby laughing…watching paper airplanes fly.

 

Finding money in my pocket…listening to the honking sound of geese…twins…triplets…quadruplets…an old hippie saying…Peace.

 

The perfect cookie fresh out of the oven with its aroma sweet and strong…wearing silly birthday party hats…my first kiss…my favorite song.

 

A child’s artwork…you get the picture…but it’s time for me to stop my talking…

and allow you to find your own inspiration…

that begins with…a penguin walking.

 
 
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FALLING LEAVES

 

Today as I walked under our oak trees a persistent morning breeze coaxed a myriad of leaves from their home amidst the trees.

 

(For those of you experiencing winter…who think a poem about fallen leaves is just wrong…Remember…I happen to live Florida…where the leaves fall all year long!)

 

A breeze I could not see but I could feel and hear its sound…caused a multitude of leaves to bid their their limbs adieu and flutter to the ground.

 

And for a moment I was a child again…I felt innocent and small

as I laid down in the grass (by the way…the best place to watch them fall).

 

And I found myself thanking the wind and the trees and thanking Mother Nature by her name…for once again reminding me how nothing ever stays the same..

 

Every day change is occurring right before our eyes…trees lose their leaves, babies are born…new clouds soar across the sky.

 

The weather changes every day…today it’s warmer…yesterday it was a little colder…and every day, as part of life, we grow a little older.

 

Since, like the leaves, our days upon this planet are finite…our time on Earth is measured…every second of life should be cherished…every moment treasured.

 

No moment should be thought too insignificant…

for everywhere there is magic to be found…

like laying in the grass on a breezy morning

and trying to catch some leaves as they flutter to the ground.

 

 

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A FEATHER ON THE GROUND

He found a feather on the ground, picked it up and said, “Oh Dear!  I’m so sorry little feather that you have landed here.”

 

“Did you come from somewhere close by…have you traveled very far?  

I imagine there’s a bird up there who’s wondering where you are.”

 

“Are you sad you and your bird are never again to meet?

“Are you sad that you have drifted down and landed at my feet?”

 

“Are you sad that you will fly no more…are you filled with gloom…or woe at all the things you will not do…all the places you won’t go?”

 

The feather smiled saying, “Let me tell you something we are told from the time that we are small…there will come a day, we’re taught, when every one of us will fall.”

 

“Since the fact that we will fall is something we can’t hide…we are also taught from an early age…that we must enjoy the ride.”

 

“You ask if I am sad today…my answer is NO, and here’s the reason why…

For a wonderful moment in my life I knew what it was like to fly.”

 

The feather smiled at the boy…”you see for happiness I do not lack…do not feel sorry for me.” and the little boy smiled back.

 

Suddenly a gust of wind blew the feather from his and hand and high into the sky…

“It’s nice to know,” the little boy waved, “you haven’t forgotten how to fly.”

 

 

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A HOLE IN OUR FENCE

The fence that surrounds our back yard is old and rickety…some of its boards we’ve long ago misplaced…for many years it’s been way past repair and probably should have been replaced.

 

But even though that old fence is leaning here and there..and in one section there’s a hole…that old fence has a history…it has a past…that old fence has a soul.

 

It’s the fence that has surrounded our back yard since our children and grandchildren were kids…we haven’t had the heart to replace it…and today…I’m glad we never did.

 

The young couple who live on the other side of our fence a young couple we’re just getting to know…who were pregnant when they moved next door…had their baby a week ago.

 

We were in our back yard yesterday…taking a little break…when we heard those distinctive sounds a newborn baby makes.

 

Joe, the father, was in his back yard holding Oliver, his baby, and Deborah and I were stunned…when he asked from over the fence if we’d like to see his son.

 

If you know anything about Deborah and I you know babies…we adore…

“Yes we would!” We shouted….like two kids in a candy store.

 

But in the midst of this pandemic we weren’t sure how this would commence…until Joe said, not to worry…I’ll meet you at the hole in your fence.”

 

So through the hole, that wonderful old hole, that years of weathering has produced…Oliver…Deborah…and I were formally introduced.

 

Oliver is beautiful baby…I say this with no pretense…and his beauty was framed perfectly by that hole in our old fence.

 

That hole in the fence that surrounds our back yard…where a few boards we've long ago misplaced….that old fence that surrounds our backyard…that we never will replace.

 

Because as we’ve grown old together….as our years unfold….

we find we’re less likely to get rid of something just because it’s gotten old.

 

 

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