I love the idea of today being International Day of Happiness. It really got me thinking about what constitutes happiness and I couldn’t come up with anything except a smile. The fact that Puppy Stan was very much in the mix while I was doing this pondering made me smile even more.
The song that sings happiness for me is this one from 1988:
So, may I send smiles beaming right across the world today ~ and I hope you’ll take one and pass one on.
The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose. (William Cowper)
I was all hot and bothered yesterday evening and decided that the only thing that would sort me out was a dip in the ocean. This is really the first week since December that the sea has been behaving in terms of being calm. That surge of storms that started before Christmas put a stop to any hope of being able to take to the sea in safety.
I’d been out at the beach earlier in the day and could feel that the time was right to make my grand return.
I announced to son, Harry, at about 5pm that I was going for a swim and that I hoped I wouldn’t drown from the shock of the cold. He didn’t bat an eyelid and just said: Enjoy yourself.’ He and hubby know full well that a swim is a cure-all for all my woes ~ big or small.
It was a mad rush to the Mount Everest of ironing to try and find my swimming gear which I suspected was buried somewhere in the tangle of clothes, sheets, towels, socks … Having fired the lot onto the floor, I found what I was looking for and hightailed it out to Garrarus.
The sea was blue as blue as was the sky, where the moon was taking a look at the luncatic below:
I raced into the waves and it was like returning to my native heath ~ coming home. I was so thrilled to be back in touch with the waters I love that I didn’t even feel the cold, if it was cold.
And floating in the sea, it was lovely to look up at the tall cliffs that provide such shelter and beauty on this part of the coast:
So, the swimming year is on for me again and it everything seems so much better with the world.
It’s two years today that I came to live here in Tramore. I was only 9 weeks old and Jean and Harry came allllll the way to the heart of Co. Wexford (that makes me a Yellow Belly) to get me. Well, they didn’t know it was me they were getting ‘cos there were five of us pups still waiting for homes.
We were all ‘love’ puppies. Our mama was a a golden cocker spaniel and our dada was a liver and white springer spaniel. Our mama was very, very pretty and was a champion show dog and often had puppies with other cocker spaniels. But she was in love with my dada who lived on the same farm and they decided that they wanted to have a family of their very own.
Funny enough, none of us looked like our parents. The others were all black and white and I was the only all black puppy. I knew I had a good chance of being picked by Jean because I heard the boss talking to her on the phone and saying that there was only one totally black pup in the litter.
It was dark when they arrived and I was all nervous. The boss brought them out to our shed and shone a torch down at us. I didn’t know what to do so I stood a bit back from the others and pricked my spaniel ears.
Harry immediately said: ‘Him, he’s lovely.’ He picked me up and petted me and then handed me to Jean. I clung onto her coat and tried to melt her eyes. I could feel her heart beating very fast and then I saw a little tear trickle down her cheek. (I didn’t know then that she was totally heartbroken and missing her precious Sophie who had died only 10 days before. Getting me had been all Harry’s idea ‘cos he couldn’t bear to see her so upset.) I knew I had won her over when she stroked my ears with as much love as any puppy could ever want.
And puppies do want love; everyone wants love and that way the world can spin around in a twirl of happiness like a puppy running after his tail.
You hear about ‘a fly on the wall.’ Well, I’m a ‘puppy under the table’ and I see and hear everything that’s going on. BUT, I don’t ‘love and tell.’ That’s one tip my dada gave me when I was saying goodbye to him that night.
I was kinda surprised to be called Stan ~ but now I know the whole story. I’m called after Stan Wawrinka, the tennis player who had just won the Australian Open in 2014.
If I’d been got today, I’d definitely have been called Leighton, after Leighton Hewitt who played his last match today after a great career. Poor Jean was sobbing when he gave his farewell speech. I don’t think ‘Leighton’ would be a great name for me, though. It’s a bit of a mouthful and very grown-up sounding.
Two years has flown by ~ I often wonder about my brothers and sisters and how they’re doing and, of course, I miss my mama and dada. I hope they are still as madly in love as ever.
But, I wouldn’t change anything for the world, except maybe running up to the very top of the cliffs in Kilfarrasy the other week. I’m not the better of that yet and have nightmares about never being able to get back safe. I knew Jean loved me long before that day but I saw absolute love in her eyes when I eventually found a way back to the car. She didn’t even give out to me but just cuddled me like no other cuddle I’ve ever got and I was soaking and covered in rubble from the cliff face. We haven’t been back there since.
So, I’d best go and see if she’ll take me for a celebration walk, even though it’s raining. I’ve a feeling she will!
Night all and Sweetest Dreams!
P.S. I love you, Jean, and I’m the lucky one, not you!
P.P.S. Good luck in The Austrialian Open, Stan W. You can do it!!!
I was out today taking seasonal photographs for hubby’s carpet business and was all delighted when I found a glittery butterfly that matched one of the warm plaid carpets he stocks.
Just as I was completing this assignment the lens fell out of my glasses so I had to take myself off to the optician’s shop to get that sorted.
When I arrived back into the car, I was totally stunned to find a real, live butterfly resting on one of the samples piled high on the passenger seat.
Its perfect beauty and softness warmed my heart more than I can even begin to describe and brought me back to a poster I had hanging in all the places I lived during my endless student days. It was this quote from Henry Thoreau.
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
June 10 is full of memories as it was Father’s birthday. He was born in 1919 in Kilrush, Co. Clare ~ a place that remained incredibly special to him right up to the day he died in 2010.
Today, I think of his mother, a woman he absolutely adored and who died when he was a young teenager. I can just imagine them looking adoringly into each other’s eyes for the first time on this day 95 years ago. He was her second child and her first son.
I’m so glad that he kept her memory alive through this photograph which had a prominent place in the sitting-room of the various houses in which we lived. It never failed to spark him into talking about his happy childhood and indeed about the importance of building happiness into every single moment, however mundane the moment might at first appear.
Yes, Dad, I’ll be having that ice-cream in your honour today ~ cut from a block with a warm knife and sandwiched between two wafers.
That post I wrote on International Happiness Day has kept my spirits raised thanks to the great response that it got and the sense that it resonated with people around the globe.
I want to thank writer Frances Macaulay Forde, who lives in Australia and blogs on the lovely site Exploring Possibilities, for following up on her comment and sending me this happy, happy photo of herself and her niece among daffodils which was taken in Ireland in 2003.
Thanks also to writer Roy McCarthy, who lives in Jersey and blogs at Back on the Rock, for jogging me into ‘count your blessings’ mode through his comments. He succeeded in catapulting me back to absolute basics and, even though I thought I didn’t take much for granted, I’ve realised that I absolutely do and this is something I plan on changing.
Here’s a little example of how Roy sent me into reflective mode early yesterday morning!
It is quite astonishing where counting blessings takes one!