An early snow is falling outside my window as I quietly sit at my yellow desk reflecting on happiness and the last words of a message I received from a friend last night. She simply stated, “It’s good to see you so happy.”

As I have been contemplating these words, I realize they are true.

I am happy.

Though it’s not at all the way I expected it to look.

I thought happiness would come in with a bang. A giant marching band of cheerful noise and cacophony announcing it’s triumph as majorettes twirl batons and a kick line keeps time. Another colorful, larger than life float in the Macy’s Day parade, my expectation was for happiness to announce it would be coming up right after the break. Stay tuned.

Instead it came modestly. Like Carl Sandberg’s fog creeping in on little cat feet, it slid in unannounced.

It is quieter than the happiness of days past. More deeply rooted in peace and satisfaction from the lovely garden I am tending inside myself. Not contingent on any one person, idea, or plan for my life. It is gracious and accommodating to whatever the Now holds.

There was a time where my happy was breezy and reckless. A young puppy tearing through the house in abject glee unaware of any havoc he may cause. You can’t help but smile at his hasty joy even while you yell at him to get off the couch and notice the yellow puddle he left on the floor.

I have equated happiness with that wild, carefree, wake the neighbors state for so long, I was unprepared for an unceremonious arrival in the middle of the night where happiness simply entered on her own accord, helped herself to a cup of warm hearted tea, and settled into my guestroom.

She feels very gentle and wise, like she grasps the bigger picture in life.

I wrote a post a few weeks back about sensing there is a lot more grit mixed with my joy these days. How my Shaman said wise souls are not carefree, but have a weighty substance to them. A gritty sort of joy.

I feel a weighty substance to this gentle happiness. She doesn’t need to turn a blind eye to the grit. The feelings of loneliness, the ghosts of heartache, her greater awareness of the sorrow’s in this world. I would say she calmly accepts these things instead of avoiding them and simply allows herself to experience happiness anyways.

She feels incredibly peaceful. Like the snow gently falling outside. There is an acceptance of the cadence of life and a depth of experience where she knows on a heartfelt, cellular level, that seasons do turn.

This isn’t a flashy sort of in the moment happiness. There’s no artifice, no falsity, no shallow foundation. It’s richly nuanced. Judicious. Circumspect. Deeply rooted.

Quiet and unexpected like the arrival of the soft flakes outside.

I may be surprised by her, but she is tucked into my guestroom anyways. Amicably glowing and warming my heart, she has calmly made space for herself.

As the snow drifts down I feel her sitting there, happy.

And it is good.