The Shift

You don’t always know, I said to him, where your happiness can come from.  You can be undertaking the most routine task when suddenly there it is, a contentment, it just washes over you. And the opposite is true, of course, I continued, watching him shift slightly in his seat, taking a sip from his coffee.  You go out for a meal, and it’s expensive, not something you do often, and the waiter appears, and he says are you enjoying your meal?  Yes, you nod, yes, delicious, thank you. But the truth is although the food is good, and the wine is good, and the restaurant is lovely, and the people you are with are such great company, the truth is something you don’t really want to confront, and it’s this: everything you ever worked for, the house, the car, the holidays, the meals, the concerts, the weekends away, none of it is guaranteed to make you happy.  But then, one day, you go outside, and the scarlet red of the poppies bursts on your retina, the violet blue aquilegia nod,  then the cat swipes its paw at a bee, you hear a car on the lane, and far away a cuckoo, and somehow it all makes sense.  And there are the hills, and look at the clouds, and there’s you, standing there, miles from home, miles from everyone, penniless, lost, illiterate, wandering through the desert of your life and suddenly you are the richest, happiest  man in the world.




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