03 December 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness

T'other morning, in amongst all the irritating advertising on the radio on the way into work, I heard the following line,
"Happiness is first light on the mountain and last light on the water," and I have to admit, that those two visuals did give me a feeling of contentment.

There is something about Humanity's relationship with Nature that can either make us profoundly happy or sad. I thought about using 'soaringly happy' and 'profoundly sad', but I think that happiness can be a deeply seated emotion just as sadness can.

Last week, I wrote about how the bog impacts our physical health, but our emotional health is just as important. And of course, both physical and emotional health affect each other.
But I also contrasted the instantly breathtaking appeal of the sea and the mountains, with that of the bog. You just have to be there.

Being there.
As you walk the trail, and as you get further away from the traffic noise, there is a stillness, a calm that can make you want to stop and just be. I find it centring.I feel connected in a way that goes beyond the physical space and my human perception of time. I find it healing, and I find December a healing month.
In our part of the world, Nature is sleeping and regenerating.

In days gone by, our human activities too, would have changed. We would be sleeping more, living on the rewards of our summer's efforts. The dangers to our ancestors would have changed too, some of the animals we feared, like bears would themselves be wintering, sleeping, others, such as wolves would be hungrier than before. The weather would be something we had to protect ourselves from, and we would be trying to make our food last us through to the spring.
Early communities often killed and preserved as many of their livestock as they could, so that only necessary breeding stock would have to be fed through the winter months. This would also have meant a change in diet for the human population.

At Solstice, we both move into winter, and welcome the lengthening of the days. But there is that moment of standing still and reflecting. Of finding our centre and peaceful place.

The peaceful place both inside and outside of our being.
A moment of happiness outside of time.

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