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Happiness is the Road We Walk by Andrew Kutt

Lilac and swallowtail butterfly
2018 Sunday, March 4

We sometimes conceptualize happiness as a place we will arrive – someday.   A place we are headed like a point on a map on summer vacation.   Yet we all know in our heart of hearts that life does not work that way.

When I think of what happiness is,  I think of one my earliest memories – the kitchen in the old farmhouse where I lived until I was 5.  I think of a special light, of a sweet fragrance and of my mom’s bright smile.  I think of the gift my mother gave to me the morning she shared with me her love of lilacs.   And I think about how that experience helped me begin to understand that happiness is about connecting with the flow of life – about entering into a world beyond our ordinary experience of time and space.

 We left out the front door and headed into the woods along the road.  In one hand mom carried a basket with some scissors inside.  As we made our way toward the stream that flowed passed the moss-covered rocks and skunk cabbage, mom said, “There they are!”  I could hear the excitement in her voice.  The  lilac bushes stood high above the stream on a little hill that rose up toward the road above.  I was surprised at how tall the bushes were.  We both looked up in awe at the large beautiful blooms high at the top – exuberant splashes of purple against the canvas of blue sky and treetops.

Back at home mom filled a glass vase with water placed the lilacs inside it on the old wooden kitchen table.  She stood back, raised her hands and with a big smile, she said “Now that will brighten the kitchen for a while”!   I was sitting near the old iron stove.  From the far side of the kitchen the sun shone through the window.  The rays illuminated the vase, the table and mother standing next to them.  Everything in the kitchen was bathed in light and the sweetness of the lilacs filled the whole room.  That moment in the kitchen, when I was not more than 5 years old, would forever imprinted upon my soul.

The story of my mother and the lilacs was what I call a “soul moment” in my life.  Soul moments can be any experiences that are meaningful and memorable to us in a positive way.

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