time happiness

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I don’t know what “time happiness” means exactly, but I have an inkling about the longed-for place that St. Nikolai talks about:

Moments of happiness are given to you only in order to leave you longing
for time happiness in the bosom of the ever happy Lord;
and ages of unhappiness are given to you
to waken you out of the drowsy dream of illusions.

O Lord, Lord, my only happiness, will You provide shelter for Your injured pilgrim?

– St Nikolai Velimirovich

And I don’t know anything about “ages of unhappiness.” My sad times can’t by any stretch be called ages, though it’s true, when one is in the midst of intense sorrow, time warps.

Today has been sweet and kind of dreamy. I stopped on the bridge over the creek and thought about how beloved this little patch of suburbia has grown, especially in the last three years. This is the season when the creek bed is so packed with plants, you can’t see the little water that is down there. It was quiet and warm. The warm part of the day is short now.

I was passing by the yard with roses, lilies and other plants that are wilted and ugly from drought, insects, and disease. No one cares enough about them to pick off a dead leaf. And then what caught my eye and made me stop? A weed growing next to the fire hydrant.

“Weeds grasp their own essence and express its truth.”
– Santoka Taneda

It occurs to me just now that I may have posted a picture of this weed once before, recently… if so, it is deserving enough for a repeat showing.  It has been neglected just as much as the cultivated plants, which for a weed means it was not killed or pulled out. That has let its essential health and hardiness shine forth and produce tiny and flowers all over, decorating the wasteland beautifully.

18 thoughts on “time happiness

  1. Your quote reminded me of this one from C.S. Lewis:

    The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” -The Problem of Pain-

    🙂

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    1. Lisa, I have been thinking about this quote, too, quite a bit lately. It keeps coming up when I search for a quote by Lewis that says something like, “I don’t think you can say anything good enough or bad enough about life.” Have you seen that one?

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  2. I’ve been dealing with lots of teenage sadness tonight, so “ages of unhappiness” has a double significance for me. I’m sure at his age, it does all feel an age. I think I remember that. But I’ll take away “essential health and hardiness”. With all the talk around us of mental health and anxiety, that’s what I’ll go on trying to nurture, and earnestly pray for, in his age. Thank you x

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  3. Good Morning! I love your fig tree…brings to memory a fig tree we had on the farm, such deliciousness. My current fig tree is young and not producing figs as of yet.
    I have a question please, do you have snakes in your area? The reason I ask such a question is because we do not walk by creek beds around here in the summer months unless they are state maintained.

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    1. Cathy, the only dangerous snakes we have are rattlesnakes, and I’ve never heard of any being sighted in my neighborhood. They are frequently seen higher up toward and in the foothills, just a few miles away, where properties are larger and closer to hiking trails and spaces that are left more “wild.” Bobcats and cougars show themselves up there occasionally, too. The creeks that run through my immediate area have suburban neighborhoods on either side, so those walking paths are pretty limited in their “wildness.”

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  4. What is that pink fringed succulent plant? And what is that fruit, fig-looking thing? I like your walking path. So many changes as the seasons change.

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