A week and a half ago, An Unexpected Grace was officially launched at the Eagle Harbor Book Company, my local independent bookstore. I gave a talk about the novel to a crowd of kind strangers and beloved friends. Later, feeling joy about my book and the audience’s support, I told my husband, John, “We don’t get many days in life as happy as this.” And he said, “That’s why you should enjoy it.”
Abraham Maslow would have called my bookstore talk a “peak experience,” a rare moment of pleasure and excitement to be held dear to the heart. I’ve been lucky to have my share of major highs, but lately I’ve also thought about the minor ones. My father once pointed them out to me when I was mulling the meaning of life. He said, “It all boils down to little everyday happinesses.”
In their own quiet way, those little happinesses can be crucially important. They’re the simple pleasures that get us out of bed in the morning. And once we’re up, they’re the comforts and encouragements that keep us going.
Today, for example, my favorite squirrels showed up at my bird feeder and gluttonized on seeds. Next, a ring-necked pheasant strutted under my plum tree in all his stunning, multi-colored glory. Then for lunch I got to eat a chunk of brie left over from last week’s gathering of friends – all that delicious, forbidden fat! Ecstasy.
You get the picture. Little everyday happinesses parade through our lives and feed our souls. The small joys can add up and create a feeling of wellbeing. Another joy is happening before my eyes this very minute: As the sun is setting behind my hedge, the sky has turned a soft lavender-pink. Thank you, Mother Nature.