This Place…This Hour

cc photo by J. Delp – Waters Edge, Hassayampa River Preserve

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.

Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman

Yesterday was my birthday.

I wanted to be in Kansas, but 2020.

Instead, I went with my girls to a beautiful place. A place with running water. Vibrant colors. Peace and quiet.

I’ve found many of these places in my lifetime, but I often take them for granted. Too busy looking ahead to the next moment, seeking what lies around the bend, or worried about things that may never come to fruition. Not allowing myself to enjoy the specific space, or moment in time.

The times and places that provide peace and happiness look different and they are everywhere — not just in nature.

Even in 2020.

I recognize that I have been so busy trying to “get through” this year that I have missed many subtle moments of happiness along the way. They have been there — even in this most difficult of years. I say this will all due respect and empathy for those of who have suffered immeasurable loss during 2020.

Just this morning, I was driving through the neighborhood around my work when a rooster strutted into the middle of the narrow street on which I was traveling. I slowed my truck to a stop as the rooster defiantly and stood proudly in my path with utter disregard for any inconvenience he might be causing. He was beautiful, with brilliant plumage in vibrant shades of red. He was proud, perhaps a bit arrogant, and he was absolutely unconcerned with my schedule.

I thought about honking. But, where did I need to be?

This place — facing off with a rooster in the middle of a city street — was fine. This moment was what it was supposed to be. It was beautiful. Unusual. Funny.

I smiled — and I loved the neighborhood just a little more.

This place. This hour. Happiness.