Possibly trees are your best happiness tutors
Once in India on a road trip, I stopped by to ask for directions. A sprightly man who ran a small tea-and-snack shop helped out. “About a furlong ahead, you will see a really large tree. Take the narrow lane to the left”.
I did not know what or how far a furlong was. But I did find the tree.
Fertile, rooted and beautiful, she stood. A few people stood by her shade, awaiting a bus.
Five years later, she was there too. She may have been there for years. No one has kept count.
One early morning, I sat by her side. I got to know her a bit more. She is a monk in many ways; and when you look hard enough a great tutor for those seeking happiness.
She looked after herself first. She sought after the essentials that nourished her, however deep within the earth they may be, or however hard the journey to those sources may be.
Just as they say in airline safety announcements — look after yourself first, before you can help others.
The artificial separations that humans build such as roads, concrete or walls did not constrain her. The world was her stage. Give her an inch or a crevice within a concrete, she would find her space, make it her own and express herself. There were no grudges, no tiredness. Just raw expression of the self.
Nature throws everything at her. She has remain rooted. She has found peace in her own foundation — within herself.
There have been hurricanes and storms. It has been difficult. But she has worked with those forces, than against. She has yielded — to live another day.
While the trees with shallow roots, bit the dust; she stood still. The more rooted she was, the calmer she got, in adversity.
And all the daily efforts put in to get more rooted, made sense when the hurricane hit.
She looks a princes in spring — the flowers blooming and generously hosting an entire ecosystem of visitors. But she knows this will pass as well — the non-permanence of everything in life.
And so, she sheds it all. She lets it all go and trusts nature to do its bit — knowing that tomorrow will be better.