It often surprises me how little it takes to make me happy.

On April 1st, after my tenants made their ill-timed, not to mention illegal, departure, I moved back into my home in that small lakeside village, and began to stage it for sale.  At this moment, I’m sitting in the family room which overlooks the back yard, and I am feeling profoundly content.

This view is one which, in all weather, brings a sense of peace and joy into my life.  There’s a little backyard orchard there … five apple trees, a plum, a crab-apple, a cherry … and they are beginning to blossom with the heady abandon that only nature can fully inhabit.  The air bears the faint perfume of their efforts, and the birds have returned, bringing with them a heavenly symphony of chirps, tweets, chortles and ecstatic cries.  I have the windows open despite the morning chill to enjoy their efforts.

How could this fail to bring joy to one’s heart?

But there are other experiences that have brought me pause and made me consider the nature of human happiness.

When I moved to the church five months ago, I paid a considerable sum to several burly men to transport my furniture and other moveables the short distance between the two properties.  I was damned if I was going to encounter that enormous outlay of cash again just to return to where I’d started, so since the first of the month, I’ve been moving slowly, a bit at a time.  Because of this, I’ve been sleeping on an air mattress, supplemented by an assortment of quilts and comforters in an attempt to achieve something akin to moderate softness.  It hasn’t been awful, but neither has it been particularly comfortable.  It’s been like camping within one’s own home.

On Wednesday, I was able to secure the necessary labour to move my bed back to its former place, and that night, I sank into its pillow-topped softness with a joy near to bliss.  Oh, the perfection of a good bed, of smooth sheets that caress one’s body tenderly.  I have never had a problem wearing second hand clothing, I actually prefer previously owned furniture, but nothing on this earth will ever make me scrimp on the quality of my bed linens!

In times past, I have pulled the covers up around me at night, then nestled into my pillow with the luxurious belief that I was the luckiest woman in the world.  And Wednesday night, as well as every night since, my heart has echoed that sentiment.

A natural view, a soft bed, a good picture or two on the walls … this is all I need to transport me into contentment.  Add a cup of java brewed from a dark roasted, organic bean and I’m in heaven.  Add fulfilling work and I’m literally on Cloud 9.

In this time of transition, I remind myself that there’s nothing to fear.  As long as I have these few simple things, happiness will be within my grasp.  I have only to allow it into my heart.

Despite the convoluted nature of my personality, the intricate knots maintaining a stranglehold on my emotional baggage, I am at heart a simple woman.  And happy to be so.

And what about you?  What do you need to be happy?

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