An Invitation to Happiness

The brilliant red of poppies sparking the wheat fields –an indelible souvenir for me of France, and of a lifting of my heart and spirits in a particular way. But I’ve never been able to describe it so clearly as Karl Duffy does on his blog, Mindful Balance:

“I love this time of year when the poppies grow alongside and inside the fields of wheat. With the wind of today and yesterday they sway, attracting our attention as we walk along the lanes.  They are a splash of colour on a grey day. However they do more. They are, as Mary Oliver says, an invitation to happiness. And then it dawns on me that innumerable things each day are the same.  Sure, like every one of us, I am tempted,  from time to time, to  “drown” in moments of darkness, but so many things  – like these flowers – remind me that I am given opportunities each day to collect moments of colour, little miracles of light , that give me courage to go on and renew my  joy. They invite me to not just live life, but to celebrate it.”

The joy of life, the celebration —despite the temptation to drown in the inevitable moments of darkness — it’s all here, including the text of Mary Oliver’s poem “Poppies,” on Mindful Balance. For me, and Karl Duffy, and Mary Oliver, it may be poppies. And for you?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Color, Etcetera, Nature, Poetry, Quotes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to An Invitation to Happiness

  1. David Elpern says:

    Thanks! Each year, one poppy blooms in our garden. I’ll send you a photo. The Oliver poem hit home! D

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Amazing how even one poppy can be so ravishing, can lift the spirits so high. Thanks for the photo.
      I admire the Mary Oliver poem, although it’s respectful admiration rather than warm love. That, for me, goes to the Georgia O’Keeffe quote — along with her poppy painting — which I’ll post again in a couple of days.

      Like

  2. Rebekah says:

    This … could have been written for me, personally. Not only because of my love for poppies, though I see them on the mug I’m drinking coffee from right now. It made me stop and think… Here and now it might not be poppies, as I only see them in people’s gardens and they are orange … I like the blood red ones.. but colours can inspire me … make me happy.. The fact that I can see lupines in bloom again and a while ago it was apple trees.

    Like

  3. Joss says:

    I’m looking forward to the day when I can walk by a field of poppies like this. What a joy they are! Beauty is all around us, within and without. We need only to be still and notice. walk in beauty.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Ah, but this field of poppies is in France —
      It’s the only place I’ve seen so many poppies growing wild in the wheat fields (although I know they also do elsewhere) —
      Here I make do with occasional single plants in people’s gardens, but they also make me happy. I always love your signature, Joss: walk in beauty.

      Like

      • Joss says:

        Ah but my hubby grew up in Normandy and we are planning a trip ‘home’ for 2013 so I may get a chance to walk through a field of poppies. Wouldn’t that be amazing. I love poppies, they are such a joyful flower.
        walk in beauty – it’s what you do!!

        Like

        • Touch2Touch says:

          Tu as de la chance, Mme Joss!
          That will be wonderful indeed —
          I do love many many flowers, but more than any other — for me, poppies are the most joyful.
          In a day or two I will post Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnificent painting of a poppy, and her musings on one. Very special!

          Like

  4. Rebekah says:

    if I have any favourite painter, it’s Georgia O’Keeffe…

    Like

  5. thirdhandart says:

    Wonderful post today! I’m looking forward to seeing Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting!

    Like

  6. Julia Brumbaugh says:

    Poppies transport me instantly and inevitably to a small hill in Burgundy. The word I think of there, though is joy. Close to happy, but more tranquil.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      I know the small hill you mean, Julia. Yes, JOY!
      But for me happy is the more tranquil word; joy is bubbles or fireworks, even if they are strictly internal!
      I wish you much joy of your wonderful family, and of life.

      Like

  7. Julia Brumbaugh says:

    Thanks, Judith! I guess I think of joy as coming from a deeper well, whence the bubbles arise. Maybe happiness has a sort of simplicity and everydayness that has its own tranquility…

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      With you on the deeper well —

      Madeleine L’Engle once said something really good on the difference between joy and happiness. I can’t remember her exact words but, paraphrased, they were something like happiness being dependent on circumstances, mood, etc etc, whereas joy was something deeper arising by itself, as a gift (that’s the sense of what she meant). By her lights, joy is not biddable, whereas happiness could be (sunshine after storm, going shopping, delicious dinner, like that).

      Just thought of something, C.S. Lewis’s book about his marriage: Surprised by Joy. His wife’s name was Joy, so it’s a pun, but also an excellent descriptor.
      Joy is often unexpected, we are often surprised by joy.

      Like

  8. Pauline says:

    Gorgeous photo! Joy is in flowers, yes, and in quiet walks down dirt roads canopied in green or silent with snow; in sweet birdsong at dawn and the flight of swallows at dusk; in rain drops sliding down windowpanes; in long naps and bright waking moments. Joy in poppies, yes, and in the smiling faces of pansies, the sweet smell of the lily-of-the-valley, the shyness of violets, the sheer pinkness of a bleeding heart plant. I like the distinction between joy and happiness. Happy I am when joy rises unbidden!

    Like

  9. Stef says:

    Ah, yes, that’s what my blog is all about – finding those precious moments of unexpected (yet delicious) happiness and [if we’re lucky] genuine joy. 🙂

    Like

I love comments! Thanks for coming by and visiting ---

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s