Tuesday, 20 July 2010


“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.” - James Oppenheim

I was reflecting on the meaning of happiness today. It is such a relative state and people the world over will define it differently depending on their circumstances, their current needs and wants, their experiences and their stage of life. Happiness may simply be health to a sick person, or finding a soulmate to someone who has been alone for years and years. More prosaically, having food and water may be happiness to someone who is dying of hunger; living in a home with a loving family may be happiness for an orphan in a state institution; or peace to an unfortunate citizen of a war-ravaged country.

The following poem written in gratitude of the happiness I enjoy on a daily basis and which I often don’t reflect upon. I often don’t appreciate, or recognize or acknowledge. We engineer our own happiness by considering our own good fortune…


The simple joy of winter sunshine,
Drying the rain-soaked earth.
The warmth of freshly-laundered clothes,
The dryness of shoes without holes in their soles.

The knowledge that a light will be on at home
When I return there after work.
A greeting, a kiss, a smile when back,
And the glow of being loved and loving in return.

The satisfaction of knowing that a sprain
Is the extent of my ill-health.
The smell of a simple tasty meal on my table,
Its appetising sauce the fact that it was cooked with love.

That I turn on the tap and have running water,
That I have warmth in my home in winter.
The knowledge that when I listen to the news
All bad news will be from far away.

The simple contentment of the ripe oranges
Hanging golden on the tree in my winter garden.
The fresh flowers in the vase,
The music that I can play when I want to.

My job, my friends, my colleagues, my associates,
All of my life, so gratefully being lived.
The tears that flow, being tears of joy
Compassion, sympathy, not of sadness…


  1. I think of happiness as a moment of joy and contentment as "many moments" of happiness!

  2. Happiness can be ephemeral, a fleeting glance at a moment. I miss the lights on when I return from work, but there's a dog on the other side of my front door that's wagging his tale and happy to see me. Small moments, great delights.

  3. 在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  4. As always another wonderful poem. I did post this Poetry Wednesday but the poem of another.

    The journal I write my poems in sits beside my chair unopened for another month. I must get back to it. Make myself open if and sit there with pen in hand even if no words come.

    Maybe next week.

  5. 芳綠:

  6. Jacqui, that's good! The pen next to a blank page is inspiration enough.