When I saw the photo challenge titled “Happy Place” the words that immediately came to mind were “travel destinations”—places that invoke that glorious feeling of combined rest and joy, one definition known as “happiness”. I thought of places I’ve been (North Myrtle Beach).
or places I’ve dreamed of going (Moorea).
When I went to Acadia National Park (above) I thought, “Oh, now this it. This is the ultimate, the place to unwind, to get away.” I was happy!
However, travel can bring its own stresses, as we all know. The planning, packing, and getting to-and-from can be tiring. You’ve heard people say, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” :-)
It can feel like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,
or trying to truly capture the presence and majesty of another breathtaking moonrise,
or that ever elusive butterfly.
But when you’re in immediate and desperate need of joy, finding a happy place cannot always be found by thumbing through travel guides for yet another trip or even dreaming of those places.
It’s times like that I totally forget a happy place that lives right out my front porch. Most of the time I find I’m looking beyond it, rushing past it toward some goal, the “next thing”, that place called “when I finally get there, I will be happy!”
I forget the happy place staring straight at me. It’s a place where they’re straining their necks to grab me, to get my attention, to make me stop in my haste to happiness and see that they are what I really need;
that they live, they thrive, they exist to make me happy! (I’m convinced they serve no other purpose.) They are my never-ending friends, through every season, through every joy, through every sorrow. They are constant and oh, how I take them for granted!
They remind me that we both endure some thorny paths and sticky situations,
that I’m not the only one out there feeling so alone,
drowning in life’s demands,
and kind of hanging by a thread,
or in need of a hug;
that while we pass each other everyday in the coming and going, we can still rise and hold our head high, together, and shine in the sun!
You see, when you have best buds you can find happiness no matter where, no matter what. :-)
I write this in honor of my friends and family, my “best buds”. Thank you for being just a phone call away. I always miss you.