Happiness Is A Habit

SEPTEMBER 14th, 2014: Sauntering thru the village this sunny morn, and I come across a wonderful thing, a plant exchange. This place is where my heart strayed you know. Right to this street, within the heart of this Village. We say we will pray we have time but often don’t. Few are able (willing?) to sacrifice anything to achieve their hearts desire. Perhaps it stems from fear, perhaps the thought of what one loses scares the timid off. That may be it.

I remember which of my lovelies it was I found that day, it was the Lungwort “Mrs. Moon”…in all her spotty beauty. She did well this year. I fleshed out the area that surrounds her, adding Creeping Jenny to scramble across the ground. I think Jenny and Mrs. Moon will do well together.

IMG_3757Another feat I accomplished is transplanting some of the ferns from the Homestead back here to my rented garden. They looked sad and wimpy of course this year, as they get fussy when they have to move. I foresee a whole swath of them though along this North side of the house, in years to come, as they colonize. With the Black Walnut’s sheltering shade and the warmth of the yellow brick, it will feel like home to them.

Looking back at a repetition of empty days, one sees that monuments have sprung up. Habit is not mere subjugation, it is a tender tie: when one remembers habit it seems to have been happiness.
Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart

My next door neighbour here in the in-between garden, did I tell you, Mom, he was Irish? Yip, with a lovely lilt to match, he is a good person. I guess he’s been a fixture of this old farmhouse for years. Every time I see him, he admires the day, rain or shine.

Outside his doorway hangs this old trellis, and dangling from, or resting upon, are little treasures from his travels. These shells, triads, and the medicine wheel, and such, greet you.

IMG_3956You know, he is so sunny and warm, that his bad days are other people’s good day.

This last spring I knew something had transpired in his world, I knew something was afoot as my warm and sunny neighbour just didn’t seem to shine as brightly. As Crossroads Man has known him for years, he said that yes he was having some problems, but did not give away my neighbours secrets. I admire that about him, that he would reassure me, yet not forsake his friends privacy. Very honourable.

In the late winter months of this year, at my doom and gloomiest at work, I remember thinking to myself “OMG, I am so f*#ken lucky I’m me“. It seemed to come from nowhere, and felt so arrogant, well, it stunned me. I realized that the one thing that I had, that they did not, was I had a way out. I always have a way out. I’m never, every, truly stuck. It was like being smacked across the face with the truth.

Maybe it’s when you don’t HAVE to be somewhere when we make a choice to CHOOSE where we are, that we recognize that happiness was there all along. Once I did that, once I recognized I always had options, that’s when the change happened.

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance.
Henry David Thoreau

So this year I see was the a little gift of recognition, and a chance to enjoy my little happy space here in the in-between.

So, I spent the year showing the Virginia Creeper where to go. And arching over my passageway, it turned a crimson red this fall. And you know, still my Snapdragons are in bloom. It’s mild, and wet, and damp. Yet, the sun shines every few days, and the village comes alive with dogs on leashes, and babies in strollers.

Me in my rubber boots, well I stomp in puddles and am one of the many for whom the leash pulls. So off my four-legged Irish lassie and I go. Perhaps round the village, or instead maybe a trip to the Old Apple Orchard… and I’m always thinking…maybe last time till spring. But it hasn’t snowed and stayed yet. So a white Christmas it will be.

By making happiness a habit, the changes for once were all by choice. It was not just a matter this time of re-aligning my thinking, but rather of re-aligning my life.

So, alls well that ends well,
Love
PaulaB

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