|Swallowtail caterpillar in my garden.|
Better late than never! This week’s happy list.
1) Music. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but as I sat in the warm summer sun at the Winnipeg Folk Fest, I was struck by how music really is the universal language. I watched three bands grouped together on one stage who had never met before. One from Belize, another from Mexico, and a harmonica quartet from Quebec, of all things. The musicians didn’t speak the same language. They hadn’t heard each other’s songs before and certainly had different styles of playing. But they managed to make incredible music together–something incredibly unique to that particular day at that particular festival.
|Me with the Medieval torture
device in Curacao.
How can watching strangers become friends through music fail to make one happy? If you haven’t made it to an outdoor festival or concert this summer, I highly recommend it–even if you think you’re not the “festival type”. You may be surprised.
2) Trying new foods. So far this year, I’ve tried red snapper (with the head still attached), conch, jerk and Thai-flavored cheese, keshi yena, meat cooked on some spiked iron Medieval torture device, homemade ice-cream sandwiches, and deep-fried pickles. Some were hits and others I’ll never eat again, but getting adventurous with your palate is one way to shake things up and discover a new favorite. And it’s fun! I should have bought those haggis-flavored chips….
3) Living up to your calling. When you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing (and only you can say what that is), it feels amazing. I’ve learned this the hard way, again and again. When I’m writing, I feel great. When I’m not, I feel guilty. And guilty does not equal happy.
4) Butterflies and other garden visitors. I have a small butterfly sanctuary for swallowtails in my backyard. Monarchs finally came last year and I could have danced with joy! Knowing that you’re doing something good for wildlife and the environment feels fantastic, not to mention the insects are fascinating to watch. I would love to see more bumblebees, though.
5) Meeting like-minded people. I finally bought my plane ticket to Vancouver last night. I’m returning to the writer’s conference I used to attend every year until my day jobs got in the way. There’s something about being a room with hundreds of like-minded people who are in the same boat and truly get where you’re coming from. I learn a lot, make new friends, and always return home refreshed and inspired. There’s a conference for almost every past-time on the planet–have you been to one?
What’s making you happy this week?