if i can’t be happy here and now



if i can’t be happy on a walk with my son

as we stoop to admire an iridescent beetle the size of my thumb,

upside down on pavement, waving its frail legs

as if only for my child’s wonderment,

then i will never be happy.

if i can’t be happy listening to his chatter,

if i can’t be happy stopping to indulge in every flower’s fragrance,

if i can’t be happy here and now

then i will never be happy.

we watch a tug boat work itself down the bay with surprising speed,

and my boy asks me where i would want to live, as we plod past

the huge houses and fancy cars with their water views.

envy arises, but then another sentiment clear and bright as his voice:

if i can’t be happy here and now, i will never be happy.

in this moment it is easy to believe and be satisfied

with the movement of my legs along the sidewalk,

with the tickle of sea grass and daisies against my skin,

with my son’s chipper companionship.

in other moments i will struggle

with other words that don’t make nearly as much sense,

with the tantrums of my children and stress of work,

with traffic and time,

with bills and clutter,

with the primal longing for escape.

i hope i can remember there are beach roses that need sniffing,

and beetles who need to be gently set right and placed back on a leaf.

2 responses »

  1. So beautiful! Thank you! I did a lot of thinking recently and realized that on my deathbed i will not think of work, extra hours done for no thank and no money, but of the times spent with my loved ones. It helped me put things in perspective. Sure, the rent still need to be paid but I am trying and slowly managing to shift my focus on real priorities. Your blog and your friendship are of tremendous help in this process. Your poem says better that I could what really matters…
    lots of love!

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