Monday, April 4, 2011

Happiness Triggers

   This morning there is an orange glow on the horizon between a dark stand of trees to the east.  Above the layer of orange there is a band of white light that fades into blue.  The world is silent except for an occasional car driving by and the sweet song of a lonely bird. 
    Solitude in the morning is my favorite way to live.   I'm writing about it here in the hopes that I will remember things that I like and moments that make me happy.  It's easy to forget personal joys in the midst of family activities.  
     One year while I was taking a literature course, the professor asked everyone in the class to name one book or cd that they couldn't live without on a deserted island.  At the time, Elliot was three months old and I hadn't experienced uninterrupted sleep for weeks.  I could not name a single thing that I liked enough to take with me if I were stranded and utterly alone. 
    Perhaps this just means that I am ready to let go of everything when I die, or that I am so distracted by my family that I forget who I am and what I like. 
   Near the end of a fourteen hour drive on Saturday to pick my daughter up, I discovered something I really liked.  It was sort of a re-discovery.  During the last weary hour of the trip, when the mountains were behind us and the sun was setting, I put in a cd by a band called America.  The songs were written in the early seventies, but my parents never had this kind of music in our house.  Perhaps it was too hippie for them. On this night, I realized that I knew all the words to all the songs and could sing along without difficulty to the entire cd.  All the while I was singing (not so loud to wake the kids), I forgot that I was uncomfortable and tired.  I was happy.  It wasn't just listening to the music that triggered my joy, it was my participation. Singing makes me happy.
    Especially singing with Richard, who knew all the words too.   

If you were able to take something with you on a deserted island, what would you take?   

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