(One of my favorite sunrise spots...)
Well, I read the Declaration of Independence the other day. Haven’t done that since, I don’t even know when. Maybe Junior High? For some reason that rings sad to my heart. As an American citizen shouldn’t I be brushing up on that important and inspired document more than once every 20 years? I think, yes! More brushing up on it just feels right.
Anyway, about that there declaration. The whole thing from top to bottom is meaty and difficult to comprehend or perhaps I’m confusing “difficult to comprehend” with being just a touch dry. Nothing wrong or uninspiring with dry! It’s still a VITALLY IMPORTANT document! But dry-ish. There’s that one part that’s far from dry… The one right at the beginning that gives me the chills when I read it out loud (Read it out loud. It might give you chills too.).
(My very favorite flower. These beauties grow outside my front door.)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The Pursuit of Happiness. What a concept. Do you ever think of happiness and the pursuit of it as being a right? A privilege? It’s the best gift! And it’s ours. If we are given this gift I sort of feel that it’s our duty to pursue it.
It can be a vague emotion, one that feels difficult to hold onto and stitch into our hearts permanently. For some, this emotion hasn’t been on their radar for who knows how long. For some, it is a forgotten feeling. For some, it is a choice they make every morning when they wake up. For some, it is in their DNA and no matter what hurricane is flying around them, they simply exist in a steady state of happy (Do these people exist? I think I know some of them, but it’s hard to know for sure…)
(These boots… And when I can actually use them for what they were made for.)
Is happy a possession of things? Of experiences? Having everything? Having nothing? A state of mind? Is it non-attachment? Do we know what makes us happy vs what gives a burst of fun or pleasure and then leaves us feeling empty? Can we smell happy? Taste it? Touch it? Hear it? See it? Well, now, I don’t know. But I have this idea that if we sat quietly and thought about what TRULY makes us happy, we could probably come up with a pretty decent list. In those moments when we are not feeling how we deserve to feel then we can do one of those things on our list and perhaps get a little closer to happy.
Am I dumbing down the pursuit of happiness too much by making a list of happy things and then simply doing more of those things? Is it that easy? Depends. The only way to know is to try. I made my list. Today is a perfect day for experimenting. This blustery weather outside is matching a smaller scale bluster on my insides. So, after I post this, come Hell or high water I’m going to the mountains to touch trees and put my feet in the dirt and stuff. Because that makes me happy. And so do these things… Pursue the things that make you HAPPY.
Juicy Jam Session: I know this rad shuttle driver at work who plays movie soundtracks for us, the shuttled, in the morning. It’s just the best. Music from Somewhere in Time, Lord of the Rings, Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Caribbean… You name it. And I LOVE it. It makes for an awfully peaceful and often inspiring shuttle experience in the wee hours of the morning. This one isn’t on his playlist, but I might suggest it to him. The soundtrack to Meet Joe Black has gripped my heart ever since I saw the movie a very long forever ago. That Next Place composed by Thomas Newman. You can find it on Spotify and iTunes. I checked. -XOXO