under the ebb and flow: the happiness of equanimity


Every day this week, I have gone to the front window (almost obsessively, but not really), looking out at these daffodils to see if they've opened yet.

And they haven't. And they haven't. Still haven't.

Down the street, my neighbors daffodils are in full bloom. Little yellow bells of happiness.

My tight greenish yellowing ovals are making me happy, too. They're just not open yet.

Pre-bloom: happy.
Blooming: happy.
Post-bloom: happy.

Even when they were bare in the earth, just a thought, a greening-waiting-to-happen, there is nothing in the waiting that can't inspire happiness. Oh sure, you could ignore what is and be unhappy that it isn't what you want. But you're the one imposing that on the daffodil. The daffodil just is. And you can be, too.

(If you're in pain and you don't want to be in pain, not accepting the pain makes the pain worse. I know this from experience and science backs me up on this point.)

Happiness is acceptance of what is, after all. And what is, in this moment (yes, I just went to check again) is that the daffodils aren't blooming yet.

I have no reason to believe they're stunted or won't bloom. But if they were and if they didn't, there is no cause for unhappiness.  My neighbors have daffodils. They're freely planted all over this neighborhood. Beautiful to behold.

(My tulips got eaten by squirrels. I'm not getting tulips in my yard this year. That's ok. I had them last year. And I'll plant some more in the fall, with some squirrel proofing measures.)

Even in the barest day of winter, when I was feeling so cold and lonely and anxious and couldn't bear the thought of more gray, more brown, more white: there was always beauty to find somewhere. Always happiness, waiting for me, under the spiral of dark and cold. Some days, some moments, I can find it there. Some times I can't. It gets easier to accept what it, the longer I practice.

Some moments suck. No lie, no excuse, no shirking it. I hate winter (I hate being cold and the darkness and the gray) and I especially hate the prolonged winter we had this year. But it happened. And I did the best I could to get through it and I did. I lived through it. I am here, now. It's still gray (rain today) but the world around me is brightening and that is renewing me, right now.

Ebb and flow. Flow and ebb. And underneath it all: equanimity.

Can't live without both. And I don't think I would want to. There is no perfect. There is only here. Only now.  Lovely and wonderful and shitty and hard. Sometimes all at once.

So here I am. Waiting for the daffodils to bloom and taking pleasure in the waiting.