Lately, I find myself smiling. I catch myself smiling. I am folding laundry or climbing stairs or ironing or walking through a parking lot and I am smiling. I even ask myself, “Why are you smiling?” I am happy. For the first time in a very, very long time I have good things ahead of me, clearly visible and very close. The goodness is free-standing and untethered, independent and unattached to anything but me and my future. And as so often happens, the good things (just like the bad things) happen in threes. I can barely contain myself. I think I need to pinch myself. As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.” And if you follow Martha, you can hear her voice and see her closed lip smile. She always has that twinkle in her eye like she has a secret and she is up to no-good – and she’s including you. I have always loved that about her.

You can’t plan for happiness. It isn’t an object obtained. The most we can hope for is to welcome happiness. It tends to accept the invitation if the circumstances are right. The circumstances are optimized for happiness if you know what you want. When you have a clear idea of your goals and you willingly and relentlessly apply your energy and resources towards those goals….happiness tends to arrive in the wake of achievement. As long as it’s what you really want. Dedicating yourself to an endeavor that is someone else’s dream or ambition will never be hospitable to happiness – not YOUR happiness. It may make the other person(s) happy but if it denies your own heart and sells your own soul short, you will never be happy. CAN never be happy. What is the saying? Follow your bliss! I didn’t just follow it. I tracked it over a mountain range, through a desert, across an ocean, around the dark side of the moon and back. And I devoted myself to listening to my heart and soul. The result? Before me I see a couple of truly lovely and amazing things and I can barely wait!

In the meantime, I drew gardens and flowerbeds and placed the plantings of my trees. I also identified a few occupants emerging on my compost piles. The plant is called Cypress vine. It’s not native but it is not considered noxious or invasive. The butterflies love it….and therefore, I love it too.

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