I was recently having lunch at a Scandinavian Ambassador’s residence in Abu Dhabi. During the meal, the Ambassador’s husband was telling us how the best part of going to his country at this time of year is the cover of fresh grass that is rolled out in the forests, and the beautiful light green of the new leaves. He said happily that walking around the Northern European forests in the spring brought him so much peace and that we should all be jealous he was shortly on his way there. At that same lunch was a German lady who is responsible for running the book fair in the capital. She said that the most beautiful aspect of nature in Europe was the same impossible shade of ultra light green covering the trees in the spring as they catch the light covered in morning dew as whole forests were waking from their long wintery slumber. She also mentioned that a friend of hers recently asked her to send a list of her moments of happiness in an email, in which she included seeing the first green of the trees.
With unrest everywhere I look in the region in which I happen to be living and working, with news of people on both sides of the Atlantic going berserk with ‘End of Days’ mania, with food insecurity, environmental worries, that infamous man’s demise, burial at sea and promises of bloody avenging disciples terrorizing our planet, with all that worry that seems to be engulfing me when I listen to the news, I started thinking of my own moments of happiness. Why don’t I write those on my blog (my long-neglected blog) and see where that will take me.
Here goes, my own ‘Moments of Happiness’- mostly from my childhood.
A lush spring meadow full of wild flowers of every color.
Gazing at the cherry and almond blossoms dotting the Lebanese countryside.
Walking home in the evening after a long play day, and being suddenly surrounded by a million fireflies, and just standing there, mesmerized and ignoring my mother’s calls to get home already.
The first snow fall. Eating the fresh snow from the tree leaves.
The unseasonal heavy snow fall that no one expected, and realizing that there will be no school the next day.
The first day of summer vacation.
The crunch of the first green almond nicked from the neighbor’s tree and dipped in salt (our own tree’s almonds just didn’t taste as good)
Mom surprising us with a picnic basket as she picked us up from school on a sunny afternoon.
Finding a 20 in an old jeans.
Thinking I lost a sneeze, then looking at the light, and having an even better sneeze than I thought I would have had.
Daylight saving working for me, and sleeping one extra hour.
The president dies and we get THREE days off from school.
Waking up to the smell of freshly-baked cake.
Mom surprising us with pancakes with extra syrup and butter, making the kitchen smell like heaven.
Getting to lick the cake batter from the bowl (especially if chocolate flavored)
Sprinkling sugar on corn flakes and waiting for the cold milk to be poured with great anticipation.
Winning at the ‘crack the egg’ Easter game.
Counting the money collected every New Year’s Day from all the relatives. We call it the bistraini
The smell of the new white leather shoes my parents just bought me for Palm Sunday. Yes, I had them on my pillow all night, loving the way they smelled.
Eating the season’s first hommaida (stems of yellow flowers we used to suck on for their delicious sour sap)
Dad buying us fresh bazella (green peas in the pod) from stands on the side of the road
Walking on the country roads with a bunch of freshly-uprooted green chickpeas, tasting the tangy salt of each pod we bit into to get at the tasty young peas, not a care in the World.
Swings. Especially while the other kids watched us and waited their turn.
That feeling when the swing is pushed so high I feel I touched the moon and left my heart up there.
Lying on the grass guessing the shapes of clouds with my best friend.
Rolling downhill on the grass.
Watching Chilly Willy and Smedley cartoons.
Finding a golden beetle to tie to a string and have my own private air show, with a matchbox as the hangar.
When it gets warm enough for my mom to finally let us eat the ‘Salem’ ice cream (famous in my hometown)
Mom not breaking the spaghettis when cooking them so we can slurp, making our faces-and clothes-red from the splattering sauce.
Jell-o. Cherry flavored, with cut up bananas in it, the way Mom makes it.
Creme caramel, with extra burnt sugar making it oh so good.
Being allowed to stay up late the day a visiting relative is brought home from the airport.
Being allowed to hold an empty 7 UP bottle and a glowing cigarette to light the fuse of the fireworks rocket on Assumption day.
When I blow the biggest bubble, and it covers my whole face when it pops, gum sticking to my eyelashes.
When I last the longest playing jump rope.
That special feeling when I am the most important kid in the World on my birthday. And the gift opening. Even when it’s the checkered clothes from my aunt.
Waiting patiently then removing the finally frozen popsicle from the mould.
Eating a lollipop till the end, and discovering it has a gum at the center.
Hope that made you smile. Do you have a list of your own happy moments? Do you want me to post it on my blog? Send it to me as a comment and I will. Promise. Or just post it on your own blog. You don’t have one? Make one. Costs nothing. Tell us what you think. You’re interesting, you know? Like everyone else in this world 🙂
Part two coming up…Don’t touch that dial.