What are the key ingredients of happiness? For ages, wise people are seeking the perfect answer. I feel happy when season changes. When winter welcomes spring, and spring fades to the sunshine of summer. It’s the change that keeps us going, going to places, phases, and sometimes makes our muscles to time-travel.
In a day, May arrives with more sunshine. New plants in my garden are growing rapidly, as if they know only tomorrows. On a gorgeous day like this, I decided to note five happy things from my favorite month.
Change of Scenery
In March, all lanes to my home had one thing common. They had trails of some blossoms- Cherry, Plum, Almonds, Nectarine and some other unknown to me berries. I spent that whole month looking out of the car window, chasing those blossoms with my phone camera, deciding where to park our car to get a good panorama. I also made several trips to close by trees to take the perfect macro. In first week of April, one day while returning home, on a traffic signal, I looked right. There were no blossoms anymore. Suddenly all those blossom trails were replaced by long branches of big magenta leaves, sunshine whirling over them. It was timely. It was April. Leaves had to come out. Blossoms had to leave. Nothing is permanent- I thought that day, after reaching home. I guess, that’s April for me. The longest month without a trace of permanence.
Finding the loneliest trail
It’s Silicon Valley. You cannot feel alone in any place unless you are in your head, or on your phone. But last weekend we found a new place close to an end of a local river. There were wild flowers blooming, little wild animals running fearlessly, and six hikers talking about direction and shoe-laces. We paused for a while, taking photographs. When we started walking toward the water, we found no human around us. Just White clouds checking their reflection on the clean water. Just some birds, making silent trips back and forth. Just some bees and flies smelling happy flowers. It was surreal. I am glad we marked a silence zone on our map. Plus I read about a ghost town that can be reached by hiking. I am excited about photographing abandoned houses in summer.
To be or not to be frozen
We all meet some people who are frozen in time, playing the victim card every time they know they did some mistake. I came across such people in the later part of my life, without realizing how abruptly these people could escape from responsibilities. These people in my life don’t call themselves victims directly though, they post messages, steal famous lines, and manipulate facts to paint a picture of them as martyrs. April is a month when I taught myself not to be like them. It’s not hard to find other role models, for example people who are competent enough to find their faults, people who practice what they preach, people who are not serial offenders, people who don’t compare themselves to others, people who don’t fall in that deadly cycle of attention seeking and proving points. At the end point of this month, I happily realized, it’s our choice who we want to be. The world is rich with good examples.
A Man Called Ove
I don’t judge a book by its cover. But I surely memorize a new book by its cover story. I saw A Man Called Ove in a local book store in the beginning of this year. I liked the cover, I liked the old man, I liked his hat, I liked the name Ove. So I placed an order for this book along with other six immensely popular books. Let me tell you, A Man Called Ove has been the most favorite thing I read this month. I finished the book in three nights straight (in between my daughter’s nap time.) The book has a soul, the translated words have rhythms, and I am in love with the protagonist. I already know him; he’s a bit of every favorite person from my life.
In April I continued to stay offline for two days every week. I also added more books to compensate screen time. I guess, my eyes did thank me for a while for keeping that phone away. I also went to gym regularly for twenty days. But apart from those, the thing that kept me happy was watching what I put on my plate. I cooked every single day this month, using fresh spring vegetables, balancing colors and greens with proteins. There is something nice about conscious eating; it’s a habit that helps my mind to celebrate each day with good home cooked food, and family. What else can bring more benefit to health right?
If you like reading this post, you may also want to find five happy moments from your month. If you do, please post a comment with your link or tag on Instagram with #fivehappythings
It’s always great to stay happy.