Growing Happiness

A phone call from my four-year-old nephew one evening made me smile. Most adorable and charming for his age, he can make you smile anytime just like that. In his husky, innocent and breathless voice, he said, ‘Aunty, I stole your strawberries.’ ‘From where,’ I asked. ‘From your garden, the strawberries you planted had ripened. You were not there but I ate them,’ he said, and delightfully added, ‘they were big red ones and very yummy!’

One holiday at home in springtime, I made a small strawberry patch around the house not knowing how well they would grow. Long after it and far away from it, I never saw it spread so well in the rain. I never saw it bear fruits in the sunshine. But folks at home told me how well they grew and what a nice and healthy spread it was, and how the kids delightfully savored them. They were happy and what joy I felt. I was happy they enjoyed the fruit of my small labour. The pleasure was mine. I did it my way. I grew happiness. My small and humble strawberry garden helped spread unsullied joy. So, here it is—Life is not about chasing happiness, but finding happiness in small things, creating it and spreading it.

Rich or poor, no matter what one has or don’t have, everyone wants to be happy. And so, man’s relentless pursuit for happiness persists. But time and again we are told that we cannot run after happiness—happiness is about being content with what we have. Happiness lies within. And, by making the best of what we have we can create happiness around us.

As much as money cannot buy love, true happiness cannot be bought. But as much as love can grow, happiness can also grow. But never or rarely do we think of growing happiness and rarely do people look for happiness in small things. Sometimes we fail to see.

The world loves big things and most people think big things, big possessions, big positions and big life will make them happy. But achieving big things in life can only give momentary happiness, or the longing for more.

True happiness is found in small things, in small acts of goodness and kindness. And we can grow true happiness. Growing happiness is easy. There is no one way. We can do it in thousand different ways. A small kind act, giving, sharing, loving, and indulging in simple pleasures such as growing flowers, planting trees or planting smiles…, the list is endless.

Growing happiness can be as simple as wearing a smile or saying ‘thank you,’ to begin with. One doe not need big words. Just two simple words and the other person is happy hearing it and you feel good doing the simplest right thing to do. It is as easy as that. A small praise, few kind words or a simple ‘do it for others’ can go a long way in growing happiness and spreading it.

Kindness sparks off happiness. May be not so in some cases. There are times when you give and give and you get nothing in return, and you become disheartened. But, true kindness is selfless. It’s always giving and never asking.

Now, the essence of happiness is being positive. Only a positive mind can see goodness in everything and can generate gratitude. Gratitude creates happiness. However, gratitude in hard times is not easy. It is difficult. But only when you begin to see goodness around and start counting colours in your life no matter what situation you are in, you begin to feel joy within. And only when thanking God becomes your daily ritual, joy becomes you and you ultimately become a joyful person. You learn to smile effortlessly no matter what you are going through and you can laugh at adversities. This is because gratitude generates the strength to face anything in life gracefully.

To sum it up, growing happiness is seeing and doing the simple good things in life. Happiness is also making the best of what you have—your mind, your heart. Make them big. A thankful, loving and giving heart and mind is where happiness grows.

Lose To Gain

Sometimes life hits you the hardest
When your hopes glow brightest
But every moment in life is a miracle
Sometimes shrouded in grey debacle

You fall so fast, but it’s just a bruise
Before you know, you are on a cruise
And life takes you on a run again
For only when you lose you gain

But there I was running on empty
Though there were before me plenty
But I found my way when we met
A fine summer, our time was set

Times were divine, spent by your side
With not a care, coffee by the wayside
Blushing joys, fireflies and sizzlers
Blissful drizzle better than thrillers

On cloudy days, dark nights so cold
Finding you deep within, I got a hold
But like a clown I laid my soul bare
I took my chance. It was a fool’s dare.

Now the light’s low, long over the song
I’d been standing in the cold too long
I should have known, I got it wrong
But you only lose to grow strong.

By the River

The sky was clear and so blue, the day calm and pleasant.  It was a quiet lazy summer afternoon.  I walked down to the river in the backwoods alone. There were some sandy and stony banks. It was quiet. There was not a soul, except for few birds chirping and fluttering among the trees. I found a green grassy patch by the river. There I sat down. How blissful it was. Lovely was the river. Soaking in the calm and bliss, I slowly dipped my feet in the water, touching the smooth pebbles in the water. How cool the water felt. I looked down into the water.  The pebbles in different sizes and colours were so clearly visible in the crystal clear water. They lay silent and beautiful. A couple of tiny fishes swiftly moved in and out among them.

The river flowed slowly and quietly. The soft gentle breeze made fine simmering on the water. Somewhere on the water the sunlight sparkled. Once again I looked at the pebbles and I could not resist touching them. I reached my hand for the pebbles and threw a small one back into the water. It bounced smoothly on the water.  Well, that comes with practice. To my surprise, the pebble created fine ripples round and wide. I threw yet another pebble into the water. This time, like a practiced and skilled move, it created bigger and wider ripples.  How I loved the ripples.  One after the other I threw all the pebbles in my hand into the wide river. I watched them rippled the day away. They rippled beauty and pure delight. They rippled sweet pleasures and quiet bliss—priceless.

In quiet murmurings of the river, as the evening neared, my thoughts rippled far and away… many fine midsummer afternoons in quiet bliss by cool rivers or at pristine beaches down by the sea, in wide open yellowed fields and in green meadows and summer groves… Slowly and silently they rippled away into the cool shades of the woods in the evening light. I wish to go down to the river again.

When the Morning Comes

It’s a bright sizzling summer afternoon. The doors and the windows in the house are tightly shut to block the heat wave blowing outside. It’s hot in here. I peep through the small crack between the dark curtains that hang heavy on the window of my room. It’s scorching outside. I can barely look long outside. The blistering sunlight hurts my eyes. But I cannot help looking at my carefully nurtured flowers and evergreen plants in the veranda. I watered them in the morning.  But, they are now drooping helplessly. But when the evening comes and the sun goes down, I shall water them live again…

And when the morning comes, in the cool of the day, the flowers will bloom again…

Something You Said

Something you said
One sultry cloudless day
In careless abandon
Whirls a merry-go-round
In my mind, a haze
Knowing not when
To stop, buzzing
Freewheeling, they go.
My eyes closed, I tried
Relentlessly in vain
To string them sense
Pieces of your words

What was it you said?
In pieces, why they twirl
Never going away
Or was it the rustling
Of leaves on a fall day
In our childhood ground
Or was it the cold cry
In dark whistling woods
Behind the house long ago
Or was it the bumble bee
Bumbling sweet nothings
Pieces of your words

Something you said
Like an old forgotten
Blank sheet of paper
Torn and broken now
Floating in my mind
A blank I draw again
As I try to remember
The words you spilled.
They are spinning free
Now humming, not
Knowing when to stop—
Pieces of your words

Weaving Dreams

You asked me, ‘What do you do?’ You laughed when I said, ‘I am a dream-weaver. I weave beautiful dreams.’  You thought it was a nice joke, and you gave me a big ‘thumbs up'(!). You made me smile. But, weaving beautiful dreams is the only real thing I do, spinning dreams and more dreams with the passing of the years.

My dreams are small, but they are happy ones. And, I believe in them. They are beautiful and are made of special things. They ferry me across the river to the golden labyrinths of the evergreen realm where the weather is always so fine; where you and I can go time wasting, laughing, loving and smiling all the way…

The hallowed realm – where we can run free through the fields of yellows and dandelions, walk tall among swaying cool grasses, violets and prim roses; pluck wild rhododendrons and make posies, and watch the wind moves in golden paddy fields and listen to the sound of silence…

The quiet places – of vast rolling meadows, where we can go wheeling easy, climb green hills and blue mountains so high and hear the lions roar, trod among fallen mellow leaves and trample brown twigs, feel the cool fern and green moss beneath our feet, and bleed our hands rough in search of hickories, acorns and walnuts and our lips blue and red with the colour of the blue and red berries…

The mystical evergreen realm up where we belong – where we can breathe in the chilling, crispy fresh air and drown ourselves in the intoxicating scent of the forest, soak up the sun rays playing rainbow colours and streaming life through the green branches in the forest on a midsummer afternoon, wade through the rushing streams and bathe in the secret pool to the music of chirping birds and gushing waterfalls, and drench ourselves with the cool wisdom of the deep…

And when the day is done, we find quiet and rest in an old log-wood cabin in the forest, where the river winds down below. There are blossoming trees and lush green grass beneath. The garden sprouts sweet peas and the white daisies are growing wild. The front porch is wide and spots climbers.  Here you can sit and watch thousand sunsets and sun rise. You can feel the cool breeze blowing old memories. And, hear the mountain music play in the wind…

Listen, it’s raining! Come, there’s a fire burning inside… my dreams are shimmering bright!