Tag Archives: Happiness

Life, Death and Seasons by S.M. Senden

October has begun.

The leaves begin to color; there is a different feel to the air, as summer’s gentle warmth cools and fades with the leaves.  Winter waits impatiently in the wings to come into her own with a chill in the air bringing the fragrance of snow wafting about me, stinging and teasing my sense of smell.

It is not an easy transition.

The seasons seem to do battle for supremacy of the climate. Tempestuous storms rage across the land, hail and tornados threaten as cold and warm fronts collide. We had a string of storms pass through here last night.  More are predicted and a cold front will win the battle for a day plunging us into a fifty degree day before temperatures return to the seventies for a while longer.

It is a season of riotous, gaudy display.

Mother Nature paints her trees in a glorious riot of color. I recall the many falls in the past as a child, walking to the bus stop in the chilly rain of October through the litter of color on the ground. Once and a while picking up a particularly beautiful leaf washed in red, pink, burgundy, orange and yellow with a hint of green, so as not to forget the former lush glory of that leaf. Though we are no longer allowed to burn leaves, someone somewhere always manages to do so. The air is tinged with the fragrance of memories of my past, I am a child again, with my life before me, and I play in the piles of leaves. Do the leaves on the trees miss their fallen companions of summer?

It is also the season of harvest.

Long ago people would hurry to complete their harvest by the end of October, for after that the Pooka was said to come and ruin the crops.  The frosts of November would kill what remained un-harvested. Halloween marked the end of the Pagan year. The hearth would be swept and cleaned, a new fire kindled with the New Year.  The earth would lie as if asleep through the winter, only to awaken in the spring, new life emerging miraculously through the ground that had looked dead and lifeless through the cold winter.

It is a time of change within the cycles of life.

As I contemplate the change of seasons I think about the seasons and cycles, not just of nature, but of life.  I had my birthday last month, and added another year to the increasing number of years lived. I started another annual rotation toward another birthday, like walking a giant spiral staircase that I can not see where it leads, though I go forward with faith that life continues in its succession of days until they come at last to their end.  I wonder what lies on the other side of the veil.

Today, I think of the span of years I have been here on this planet, the places I have seen, the people I have known, the history I have lived through, and the changes yet to come.  I remember meeting a distant relation once, I was twenty she was in her nineties. She made the comment about how she came into the world with gas light, and she was leaving it with men on the moon. Will the changes in my life be as astounding?

It is a time when we come again full circle from where we began a year ago. It is where we will arrive again after another year passes. My wish for us all is that in the year ahead we all know great happiness, great joy, very little pain or sorrow. Just as we can not live without the season where all things die, we must endure the pains and sorrows of life. For, like the season of winter when the earth seems to be barren and dead, we must experience sorrow, so that, we may appreciate joy even more when it comes to us.

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Happiness As A Process

The last couple of years have been difficult not only for me but for many of the Second Wind authors and I notice some of the posts are now turning toward a desire to move away from the pain and embrace the joy that’s in our lives.
I have been experimenting with the idea that happiness is a process. Much like anything else, it needs to be nurtured and worked at.
One of the first things I decided was that I would not spend time with super negative people. When friends get negative I tell them it isn’t allowed. We are starting to have some good laughs about silly things. It is as though all of sudden we’re seeing the humor that was always there.
A friend of mine purchased a very beautiful, expensive dress for a special occasion. She told me that she would probably only wear it that one time to which I replied that the dress was so beautiful she could wear it anywhere. Why not even wear it to the supermarket? She could if she wanted, instead of letting it hang unseen and unworn in her closet.
I too, have a very lovely dress I bought fairly recently to wear to a special occasion. I have not worn it since and it looks so forlorn in my closet that I decided to take my own advice.
It is a bright red dress with long sleeves and a draped front with a black belt. It is a stunning dress and with black nylons and high heels I feel very dressed up and elegant. Not exactly super market attire, but so what? Wearing the dress makes me happy and I feel pretty in it.
I anticipated stares and even smirks and whispers behind my back as I prepared for a trip to the local Smith’s dressed to the nines in my special dress. Did I have the strength within myself to endure ridicule, comments and who knows what?
This was a bit of a challenge as I am usually the one who fades into the background. I do not go out of my way to be noticed. I just know that I feel happy dressing up and going out.
I grabbed my list and coupons and went to the supermarket.
No one gave me a second look as I walked down the produce aisle, my high heels clacking on the concrete floor. Then I noticed a lady who I’d seen at the market before. She was always dressed up and today was no different. She smiled at me and told me I looked nice. We began to talk and she said it just makes her feel good to get all dolled up and go about her errands, even if it’s only to McDonald’s, the library, or the supermarket.
“You know,” she said. “Your attitude and willingness to do the unexpected could make a big difference in how you feel.”
I agreed and knew that I was onto something important and perhaps even life changing.
Have you defied convention and either dressed or acted in an unexpected way? What did you do? How did it affect your mood and attitude?
Nancy A. Niles is the author of: Vendetta: A Deadly Win, published by Second Wind Publishing Co.

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