A strand of pearls

How does the mind go from being sound asleep to awake. Somewhere before 4:23 am, I was having a lucid dream about Paris, a city to which I have never been. I was not in this dream of course, but the goal was to get underground, into a secret lair at the base of one of the legs of the Eiffel Tower. Mind you, the footings of the tower looks suspiciously like Egyptian, stone pillars. Then I wake. Zoom! Dream evaporates and I cannot get back to sleep. Did some mischievous angel blast an air horn in my ear?  I laid in bed and considered that I could write. I could go into the office early. I decided to make something to take into the staff today. I made a Big Crumb Cherry Coffee Cake. I substituted a can of pie cherries (not packed in heavy syrup) for the rhubarb.

I fall asleep exceptionally easy. I do not complain, for it allows me to power nap almost anywhere. I am not hypersomnolent. I don’t fall asleep in the movies or while driving. But, if I decide to sleep…I sleep. Even my kittens were not pleased with my 4:30 rising.

So, the coffee cake bakes while I consider the day and the last few days. For so long, most of my space has been predominantly stress saturated with small islands of peace or joy. Artfully, I learned to string those beads of happiness together so that in retrospect, I had the perception of a greater density of joy. But, turn the strand of beads around and the spacers between the pearls are evident. The infrequency of the beads can increase their impact and highlight their rare beauty. Maybe they gain value and import because of it. But, I cannot deny the desire to have a luscious strand of pearls. What little girl does not fantasize about wearing the crown jewels? We flock to the Museum of Natural History in Washington, to see the Hope Diamond. Droves of people line up to see the jewels of the Royals in London. Most women veer slightly towards the window of the jewelry stores in the mall. I admittedly would love to go to Tiffany’s in New York or Van Cleefs & Arpel and try on ridiculously expensive pieces of jewelry. Is it a metaphorical desire to have a life and an existence abundant with joy and happiness. Baubles are easier to acquire than genuine happiness. It may be why we accumulate so much crap….we misconstrue the objects of our affection with joy. While they may bring us pleasure…they are not happiness.

But, if  we have the blessing and unexpected discovery of a veritable gold mine or vein of precious gems, can we permit ourselves to actually enjoy all that joy. Why is there a sense that we offend others with our happiness, that we must apologize for their own lack of it by muting our own excitement and enthusiasm? Is it poor etiquette to gleefully revel in our happiness? Unlike tangible treasure, happiness is not a commodity. It cannot be traded or sold. Therefore, it is impossible to horde. This means I cannot be stingy or miserly with it. I cannot refuse another man in his poverty of happiness by giving him a $1 buck o’ smile. So there is no sin in joyful living. There is no crime in being contentedly happy. And one should not feel apologetic for their blessings and good fortune. Happiness is not a lotto ticket, it is available for any and all.

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