It makes little sense to me
To think of working toward happiness.
It comes and goes of its own accord,
Not to be forced, yet it grows—
Slowly, more often out of silence.
Roots of the old shag bark hickory
Just outside my windows
Send out deep roots. No one has seen this.
But I know roots grow deeper in darkness.
Tall tree is fed, lifted higher as roots go deeper.
All creation is like this growing tree.
Beginning in silence; beginning inside the bark,
The work is slowly preparing, always out of sight.
Joy, for me, is different— a sudden surprise, freely given
As grace blows to waken, glittering in the sunlight.
But happiness is born of contentment and peace.
Perhaps like an old piece of furniture in the corner,
Polished and clean, it waits to be noticed.
Like old familiar gods, it cannot be banished.
It holds its place beside shelf of photographs and books.
My life, the very air within my lungs—
My empty house is discretely blessed.
No less are blessed the oak, elm and hickory,
Whether stripped of leaves in winter or
Green leaves that catch light in summer warmth.
Happiness is rooted here, gently folded among forgotten dreams.
As friends depart, close the door, joy leaves the house.
There remains an inward living presence….
I am reconciled in love to the silence of the house.
I’ve swept the lingering fear away from every room.
No sadness is permitted sway, but now the work begins
As happiness is born, rises out of silent mystery,
Warms itself before the fire of memory.
No longer need I yearn for something unpossessed.
I am content, at peace, in living prayer and very happy.