Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Sharing the Happy

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
William Morris, artist and craftsman

My sister-in-law, Joy, can grow stuff. She doesn't have a garden per se, she just plants things around her house. There's lettuce here, tomatoes there, a batch of basil over here...I mean, some people just know how to do these things. I'm not one of those people, but she is really good at it. For example, this eggplant. I've never seen one in the grocery store this size. It certainly has put a smile on her grandson Ellis's face!

Ellis is happy. And I want to share his happy because there is enough unhappy in the world. Christian speaker and author Patsy Clairmont says we walk past good stories every day. I agree and this is one of the best. Mostly I'm happy that Ellis is here to take joy in an eggplant. Thanks to vigilant doctors who monitored his mother's pregnancy, Ellis had lifesaving laser surgery before he was born. He is now four years old, a smart, happy little boy with no sign of the issue that threatened him. He has spent the days of the pandemic romping with his baby brother, Emmett. Together, they're a tornado of laughter and squealing.

When you're four years old, happy can be defined in the moment you find a huge eggplant in your grandmother's yard. From the time he saw it, I understand that Ellis anticipated cooking it and tasting it. As often happens, it was a case of anticipation being better than reality. Once the eggplant was sliced and cooked on the grill, for him, the tasting wasn't what he wanted it to be. The adults, however, declared it delicious.

The true significance of this little story is that the happiness of our days lies in how much time we spend enjoying the simple pleasures. Some will be terrific, others just so-so. Joy takes her joy (it's almost a pun!) in things around her home...growing things, making things pretty, cooking things. Sharing those things with her grandchildren and others gives her immeasurable pleasure.

Enjoying the simple things in life - that's one big lesson many of us are taking away from this time of enforced solitude. The world is full of big concerns. We can face those as God calls us to and  still practice finding contentment in the things that are right at our feet.