5.19.2010

Happiness is a Laughing Building

I took a walk last week that became the signature spring walk for me. I've had other walks since but this one stands out. Everything was alive, even the building downtown where the Oregon Shakepeare Festival has its scene shop was laughing (more about that later). It was the air on my face, the brilliant light, the perfect temperature, the fragrance of  warm earth, waking vegetation, show-offy flowers, trees rustling their lime-green new baby leaves because they could. Everything, really, was a little show-offy, but in an endearing and innocent way. They are forgiven for being a little full of themselves - I was even feeling a little full of myself. It can't be helped. The energy coming out of the earth right now is, well, energizing. It's so energizing that it's like a drug... erasing one's normal inhibitions.

I noticed that all the way down the hill from my house to town I had a semi-grin on my face. I felt light, bouncy, and anticipating the quality of the day, had even dressed and adorned myself as though for a special event. There is a whole art to anticipating the day and deciding what to wear, what gems and accessories will speak for your mood. Today, I expressed happiness and delight in being alive. The life outside me, manifesting in every living thing, was already in full happiness mode and I took it in like a fine elixir. This elixir is, above all others, my drug of choice. Yes, even better than caffeine.

But back to the laughing building. As I passed the Dragonfly restaurant, one of my favorite places in Ashland, and crossed the alley, I heard laughing above my head. Some of the windows high above the sidewalk were broadcasting multiple, delighted, laughing voices. I stopped on the sidewalk outside the scene shop and had the distinct feeling that even the buildings were happy today. My semi-grin turned into a wide, wide grin.

On my way home, I was walking up another sidewalk with the sun behind me. At one point, I glanced sideways to my left because my shadow looked oddly double. Suddenly, a thin, bent man, probably close to 80, with a walking stick, walked past me to the right (did not hear hiim coming!), and as he passed, said, "Are you enjoying this day!?", with an exclamation point/question mark, and the kind of intonation that suggests, "I see you're enjoying this day and so am I!". I was so startled, all I could say was, "I thought your shadow was my shadow", and then stuttered, "Yes, oh yes, I am enjoying this day". He smiled back over his shoulder as he continued up the sidewalk. A stranger I would never see again but felt such kinship with that I haven't yet forgotten the exchange.

It was a fine day. It captured and distilled all that I wanted to ever know about what's important and what happiness is.

A new card style coming to my website soon.

Grace. How it comes unbidden. A sweet honey raining down, renewing our faith, reenchanting our world.