Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy & Content

We just can’t come to a solid conclusion about what ‘happy and content’ is, can we? We look for it in other lives, adjacent to our own. We look for it within, and look for it without. We probably even Google it. And still don’t know what the real answer is.

But as for me, I’ve lived enough years I should be able to find, somewhere in my past, a day ruled by happiness and contentment in all forms, facets, designs, and configurations.

And so I say to myself, ‘It must have been the day when I was no more than nine or ten years old, when amidst all the faded and worn apparel in my clothes cupboard, my friend from the city loaned me her very best dress for the day. A lacy navy and white dress with a stiff airy crinoline that billowed out from my waist like a large cloud.’

And it just so happens, that was the same day I was sporting a new flattering haircut that made my hair shine and glisten without split ends. A magical trim that made my hair fall into place exactly how I wanted it to.

And that was the same day, with a distinctive and emerging confidence inspired by the beautiful dress, that I excelled beyond all my classmates in scholastic endeavors.

And that was the same day when my mother handed me those new red shoes from the Eaton’s catalogue (that took forever to come), that I’m sure were of the best leather because they never pinched or rubbed or felt too hot or too cold.

And that was the same day, when that little guy who I thought was so cute, finally noticed me. That was the day he hid in the playground behind trees, and tossed pine-cones at me shyly and discretely, and in a most gentle way, to get my attention.

So now, let me see, if that is true happiness and contentment, how do I fare if I reconstruct that day now?

A beautiful navy and white dress is still guaranteed to make me feel good. Maybe a more mature and sober style, but, still beautiful. Beautiful because I favor those colors best and they are colors that make me happy.

And a glossy mane of shining hair, behaving and settling into a flattering look, yes, that would be really good too. Particularly because my hair is now rather dry, dull, and colorless.

And to impress a group with some highly rated intelligence – coming from what I swear is an ‘Alzheimic’ mind, — that would be good too. Especially, if such intelligence, could somehow get splashed onto this blog.

And really comfortable shoes that make my tired old feet want to run and skip rather than bumble along – that would be a happy thing. And with a navy and white dress – red, of course!

And now, before this final bit of reconstruction, let me make it very clear that I am not flirtatious. And I will not allow you to accuse me of the indignity of flirtation at my age. But still, you know, to make the reconstruction complete I will need to have some old fellow, with remnants of the good-looker he once was, discretely tossing pine cones at me from shadowed recesses in the park to attract my attention. That would be good too. I might belong to Hub, but still it would be nice to know my navy dress, my red shoes, my shiny hair, and my expressions of intellect are appreciated.

Gee, I think I nailed it… the ‘happy and content’ thing. Cause no matter how I look at it, seems that is about as close as I can hope to come to that which might be still attainable in present time and space.

And for anyone, who Googled ‘happy and content’ and as a result fell into this trap…. Sorry, there’s no world cruise here… No grand riches… No great fame. Just some simple reminiscing and fanciful reconstruction, of a special time that served up a generous portion of H & C.

Watch out! Better duck or get your red shoes on and run with fluffy skirts billowing. Cause here comes another pine-cone!


Pauline said...

Sometimes you get whole days like the one you describe, sometimes only moments. If one pays attention to those moments, they add up, yes? A thought-provoking piece as usual.

I remember a day when I was 15. Like yours, my hair was perfect, though my dress was new and my own, and I felt oh so pretty (which didn't happen very often)! That evening my cousins and I went to a square dance and the moment I walked into the hall I was claimed for a dance by a young fellow who rushed over to me like he'd been waiting all day for that moment. He took my hand, and whirled me onto the floor. It was that way all evening, magical! The next day I was prepared to be unhappy with my hair and my clothes as usual but something had changed in me. I was able to see myself through someone else's eyes, if only for a couple of hours, and it opened my world.

anne partain said...

I believe in the importance of remembering the lovely moments of our lives, like the ones you describe here. I also believe if we focus on things that feel really, really good, we will get more of the same.
I can see you having your day in your navy and white dress with your red shoes and your shining hair. Very nice picture, thank you. xoxo

Roberta S said...

Pauline, you add fascinating observations/reflections to this story. The day you reminisce about sounds very special...well worth remembering, well worth passing on, cause it makes me (and I'm sure all who read it) smile as well.

I was struck by your comment that "the next day I was prepared to be unhappy with my hair and my clothes as usual" -- I'm not sure if the error of our ways after a truly golden day is that anxiety to slip back into former convictions, or whether the error is the greater expectations we now have for the morrow.

Roberta S said...

Hi, anne p. I'm very glad that this silly little story infected you with a bit of the magic of a special moment.

Thank you for visiting, thank you for commenting.

Pauline said...

Roberta, I would say that it would be an error to slip back and a challenge to go forward...