#happiness

THE SEARCH IS OVER

 

 

Many people search for happiness 

by looking all around

as if happiness was a buried treasure

waiting to be found.

 

If only they would realize they are already filled with happiness

and their heart is there they store it…

Then they would see happiness everywhere they looked…

Instead of searching for it.

 
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COUNTING DREAMS

 

 

Fate is a capricious mistress…we don’t know from where our destiny stems…

With some people luck seems to ride upon their shoulders 

While with others…misfortune follows them.

 

What follows is the story of a man to whom fate has been unkind…

It’s as if to a life of misfortune he has been confined.

 

Without going into details…his life’s been filled with sorrow and heartache and pain…

but every time life knocks him down…he gets back up again.

 

He stands up tall…massages his wounds…and after a little while

amidst his sorrow and his sadness…he finds a reason to smile.

 

A good friend once asked him, “How do you do it?

How do you not let your sorrow show?

Is there a secret to your happiness…if so…please let me know.

 

His answer was a simple one…nothing too extreme…

He said, “The key to my happiness has always been in my ability to dream.”

 

“After a dream’s come true or has been shattered…what I’ve always found redeeming…

Is the happiness that exists in the simple act of dreaming.”

 

“When fate hands my dream a disappointment and I feel I’m losing my self-esteem…

as I watch the dream before me fade away…I just dream another dream.”

 

“When a dream is over…good or bad…I’ll take a moment to rejoice…or cry

then I remind myself there are as many dreams as there are stars up in the sky.”

 

“And I’ll choose another star to dreams on…and if that star leads to a scar…

I look back to the heavens…and choose another star.”

 

“I guess what keeps me happy.” He said, “is when each day is through…

I’m not counting all my dreams that have been shattered…

I’m counting all my dreams that have come true.”

 
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TWO QUARTERS

 

 

A young boy walked into our bookstore…browsed a minute…then in a gesture beautiful and grand…said, “I just want to thank you…here’s a tip.” Then he put two quarters in my hand.

 

He saiid, “This is just to thank you for all the things you do.” The he whispered, “I wanted to give you three quarters…but all I had was two.”

 

At that particular moment I felt my heart begin to soar…

and I thanked him most profusely as I walked him to the door.

 

Growing up I use to think being rich had to do with all the money and wealth I could amass…but my perspective’s been adjusted…as the years have come to pass.

 

Now I think being rich is less about the money…more often it’s a feeling…

I mean…if I had all the money in the world would flowers be any more appealing?

 

Would the birds sing any differently?

Would the clouds be any whiter?

Would the morning breeze smell any sweeter?

Would the sun shine any brighter?

 

I’ve found I don’t need a lot of money to enjoy a sunset…

to marvel at the sky above….

that it doesn’t cost me a penny to say ‘I love you’

to the people who I love.

 

It is true…money can buy you many things in life…

but as I remember the look in that young boy’s eyes…

It reminds me of all the things in life…

money cannot buy.

 

I may never amasses all the money I once wished for…

but that’s okay…that is no longer part of my plan….

Because…surrounded by the love of my family…

with 2 quarters in my pocket…

I realize…

how rich…I already am.

 
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WATCHING PEOPLE WALKLING BY

 

 

I find one way to lift my spirits when the news of the day makes me cry…

Is to find a comfortable spot where I can sit and watch people walking by.

 

It doesn’t seem to matter …the time of day…the place…

watching people walking by always puts a smile on my face.

 

I never know who’ll walk by…which means I’m often in for a surprise.

There’s a couple smiling at one another…I see love reflected in their eyes.

 

As I look around from where I’m sitting…my field of vision expands…

There’s an older couple walking arm in arm…

there’s a young couple holding hands.

 

There’s a family bunched together…with three little ones in tow…

and I smile thinking how that was Deborah and I…not so long ago.

 

I see a baby sleeping in her mothers arms…safe and warm and snug…

I see friends meeting up with other friends…they smile…wave…and hug.

 

I’m always amazed at this phenomenon…I mean why is it so often that…

a hug begins with a squeeze…and ends up with a pat.

 

I see strangers helping strangers…I see this ever day…

with only a smile and a thank you exchanged before they go their separate ways.

 

These are but a few examples I’ve pulled off of my shelf…

but don’t take my word for it…

go watch some people for yourself. 

 

Yes, if you want your spirits lifted…

go out and watch people walking by…

You’ll witness so much joy and happiness…

why…it just might make you cry.

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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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