David, my artist-musician husband, is a walking encyclopedia of songs. He can instantly call up lyrics he sang and played fifty years ago. All I have to do is give him a phrase. He picks up his guitar and the words and cords flow as memories poetically unwinding.
If I sing “happiness runs”, David responds with my favorite lines penned and released in 1969 by the talented, Scotsman Donovan:
Happiness runs in a circular motion
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea
Everybody is a part of everything anyway
You can have everything if you let yourself be.
Practicing the art of happiness is on my heart every day. David and I begin by setting our tone with happy, spoken intentions, the ringing of our Tibetan singing bowl and a bit of our own singing. Early mornings, after David leaves for his day job, I take Lasyrenn our Aussie pup to the Carthage square where we practice happiness together and do her social training. While I go inside Mother Road Coffee, she waits patiently outside tethered to a bench hand-crafted by shop owner Ed Hardesty. Returning with a cup of ice for Lasyrenn and my floral thermos filled with steaming red berry Rooibos tea for me, we settle in to practice our greetings as customers arrive for cups of warm beverages and a tasty breakfast wrap or pastry.
When approaching people ask me, “How are you today?” mostly I answer with my favorite mantra “I’m happy!” There is great truth in the wisdom: “You get what you think about and what you speak.” I’ve learned even if my day feels a little “off” because I’ve encountered an unexpected bump or I have something worrisome on my mind, when I declare, “I’m happy!” I have the greatest chance of getting to happy faster.
At almost fifteen months old, our Aussie lives in a perpetual state of exuberant happiness. While she’s still refining her art of saying “good morning”, mostly she remembers to sit, even though her people-loving instinct is to jump up with kisses to show her pleasure at seeing old friends and meeting new ones, too. Of course, when photographer Koral Martin walks up from her KOKA gallery just down Main Street, Lasyrenn just looses all sense of learned etiquette. She wiggles her backside so hard her whole body vibrates, as she nuzzles and presses into Koral’s caressing hands and delighted laughter. She keeps wiggling until she melts and rolls herself over for one of Koral’s blissful belly rubs. These two have a happiness thing for each other!
There’s a post going around on Facebook that goes like this:
Happiness is the new rich.
Inner peace is the new success.
Health is the new wealth.
Kindness is the new cool.
Yes, all the good stuff begins with happiness. We know the happiness and richness of life when we enjoy the inner peace, health and kindness that bring us success, wealth and cool.
I experience this circularity of happiness every day as executive director-curator of artCentral where I’m collaborating with my board of directors and our amazing bevy of artCentral artists as together we create the magical happiness that is our Holiday Boutique and 5x7 Silent Auction set for November 29th and 30th and December 1st.
Already Jackie Boyer, board president, and board member Jane Van Den Berg are festooning our elegant Hyde House with the red and green and twinkling lights that make our hilltop sparkle and glow. While our artists put final touches to their unique gift items to be offered for your shopping pleasure, board members Jane Ballard, Betsy Flanigan, Lonnie Heckmaster, Doug Osborn, Lee Pound, Jason Shelfer and Gail White are making their share of happy magic. They’re preparing our signature potted and bowed amaryllis for your purchase while they schedule volunteers, get the word out through the media that reaches you and stir up delectables for your sampling pleasure. When you see these imaginative, happy magic makers out and about beyond artCentral, please join me in saying “thank you”.
Mark your calendars now: November 29th and 30th and December 1st for artCentral’s Holiday Boutique and 5x7 Silent Auction. Happiness will fill your heart and set the tone for your holidays when you drive up Hyde Hill and walk through artCentral’s welcoming green door to find an artfully perfect, unique gift for everyone on your shopping list.
In the meantime remember the “Art of Quilting” exhibition gracing the gallery walls of artCentral at Hyde House remains on view through November 18th during weekend gallery hours: Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call (417) 358-4404.