Smoothed rocks and driftwood and rich autumn leaves. Puppies and warm socks and piles of wood dry under the blue tarp. The smell of pine trees. Seeing the sun rise, seeing the sun set. Soft rain and softer snow. Chocolate chip pancakes, a warm cup of cocoa, a mug that fits in your hands. A bottle of red wine and bread baking in the oven. A fresh box of crayons, a new book, a letter from a friend, a phone call.
What do you do if these things don't make you happy, if you surround yourself with photographs and quotations and sensations and still feel empty? If you can never feel happy with what you have, where you are, can never be content with contentedness but crave require adventure, are doomed to forever seek something elsewhere? Must keep moving, every few months, pile all of your plants into your car and try out all of those places you've never been, maybe happiness will be there?
They say that happiness must glow from within, that your environment, your possessions, even your friends and family can never illuminate your core. Surrounding yourself with little delights -- nope. Striving ever onward, if not upward -- nope. Asking questions, delighting in thoughts and words -- nope. Reveling in tastes, smells, sights, sounds -- nope. Simply turning inward, thinking like a rock in a stream, letting life flow around you as it will, sometimes cold and wet, sometimes dappled with sunshine, what kind of rock would I be? I wouldn't be one of those giant granite boulders, just a happy little pebble, smooth and grey, swirled with ribbons of color from eons past, sitting a pool of water, watching the fishes and skies dance above, forever wondering what it would feel like to be alive.
(I'm sorry, all of you rocks and branches and leaves, that you're sitting on my desk, removed from your place at the bottom of the stream or on the lakeshore or in the forest's carpet in a futile attempt to make meaning tangible.)