I was sitting in church with our grand-daughter Jacey yesterday. She was on my lap, facing away from me, when she twisted her head back to look meaningfully into my eyes from only a few inches away. She cupped her little hand around my cheek and, eyes looking straight into mine, said, "I love you".
This would have been heart-melting at any stage, but Jacey is not even 18 months old yet, and while she has a few words, like 'bye bye', she'd never said anything like this before.
'Thank you, Jacey!' I hugged her, 'I love you too!'
Happiness is.. well for me it was this. And it's knowing our children enjoy being together, and it's having my husband plant a kiss on my shoulder when he gets into bed at night and thinks I am already asleep. It's having beautiful fresh flowers in the house, and curling up under doona covers with a good book on a rainy day, and getting caught unexpectedly in a rain shower, laughing while I run for cover. Or, even better, giving in to getting drenched and walking through heavy rain...
It's watching an awesome summer thunder storm bend the trees and pummel the earth from the safety of our home, especially when the children used to crowd around me in excitement. It's hearing the call of a kookaburra, and it's the quality of late afternoon, slanting sunlight in the tops of the gum trees, or slipping into the freshness of clean sheets at the end of the day. It's being fascinated with the new beauty of ever-changing cloud formations, and the way fairy floss disappears on your tongue..
It's words like, 'giggle' and 'chuckle'. It's waking up after a beautiful dream, even when you can't quite remember it. It's sunlight glinting off water, and the gurgling sounds of a small stream gushing over rocks, and the turquoise colour of the ocean. It's watching and hearing the crash of waves at the beach. It's artful fashion and design. It's a windy day, tearing at my hair. It's the smile of someone passing on the street. It's the chiming sounds of an old clock. It's seeing kindness in action, and it's a long drink of cold water on a thirsty day. It's all this and a million other things.
For some people it's animals, for some it is technology, or food, or smells, or popping bubble wrap.
What makes you happy?