3.20.2013

The Taste of Happiness


I am continuing my exploration of happiness. How can the taste of food not make you happy? Food evokes memories of Sunday dinner, signature mac and cheese recipes, best dinners cooked by Mom, and favorite foods from a restaurant. Aren't you filled with happiness when you think of foods that are part of your life's landscape? 



For me it is Mom's homemade bread, Grandma Woolum's fried chicken, Grandma West's apple pies, Auntie Lila's Swiss Steak, sister Carol's Christmas Eve dinners from around the world, and my own Orange Marmalade Cake.  Tastes that always stay with me are the first cherries from Sherman Creek Orchard in July, our first ripe tomatoes from our garden, the first new peas and potatoes in cream sauce, and fresh peaches off the tree. 
I found this poem a few years ago when I was doing a unit on Happiness with my students. Food usually gets students thinking of memories also.


The Taste of Happiness

What's your favourite flavour
Your number one taste
Something so yummy 
You dare not let waste
What great food sensation
Salt, bitter, sour or sweet
Excites your tastebuds like crazy
Has everything else beat

If there was only one
You could not live without
What flavour would you choose
Be sure now, no doubt

Sometimes it's the simplest
Of foods that we crave
Bread and butter, tripe and onions
No, come on now behave

I'm talking 'bout

A freshly cut pineapple
To eat on the beach
Sun ripened strawberries
Or a freshly picked peach
Double choc chip ice cream
Awash With caramel sauce
Freshly made pepperoni pizza
Draped in mozzarella of course
Cool refreshing lemon sorbet
A hot Mexican chilli dish
Roasted salted cashew nuts
Sea bass, salmon, tuna fish
Olives stuffed or otherwise
Stilton, Camembert and Brie
Fritata topped with goats cheese
Spinach and ricotta Cannelloni

But,

If you really had to choose only one
You could undeniably not live without
What lip-smacking, palate-drooling flavour
Is irresistible beyond all doubt?

Pauline Oliver


What foods create memories of happiness for you? 


3.10.2013

In Deep Thought About Happiness


What Is Happiness

What is happiness?
Such simple yet complicated word
No exact words can match it

Is it the feeling of warmth in the summer?
Is it the feeling of success?
or is it the feeling of no worries?

Nobody can actually tell what happiness is
It is such a dynamic word
Its like the wind
That is felt but not really seen

But still happiness still bugs me
Where can you find happiness?
How can you be happy?

Such questions going through my mind
Maybe happiness is just within us
Maybe happiness is like a fairy
Stuck in out heart wanting to get out

How could you tell you found happiness?
Some people say you found happiness
When you feel light as a feather
Maybe that is true happiness

I can never really tell what it is
But I think I found happiness
Happiness within me 

I have been thinking about the term happiness quite a bit lately. Coincidentally my brother has been exploring the same term on his blog.  You can find his here  and here.  I think everyone has that desire to be happy all the time. I suffer from clinical depression and I have struggled the last few months to find happiness. Usually I am not bothered by seasonal sadness, but something grabbed on to me this winter. That doesn't mean there weren't times of happiness. Walks along Lake Roosevelt, enjoying our Zags on TV, creating bouquets from store bought flowers, finding a rose that survived winter, or savoring that first cup of coffee on Saturday morning. These moments define happiness
My husband and I had a long discussion about happiness a few days ago. What is it that makes a person truly happy? We shared some of our ideas. For us to be in the same place at the same time with the dogs ( cats if we are home), cameras, good food and drink and beautiful surroundings, with concerns left behind, is happiness
 It can also be as simple as getting all the weekly shopping, chores, laundry, and tasks done and be able to relax. For me if  things aren't written down on a list, organized, and checked off I don't feel happy. I feel overwhelmed. Lately I have felt overwhelmed. Between my teaching and home responsibilities I have not been able to check off those lists and feel happy. 
I will reflect more on the poem above and other writings about happiness. I will return with more thoughts.

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