Spring is in the air!  Here in Nelson Lagoon we have had rain and snow squalls in the last 24 hours but are back to just plain intermittent rain.  Lucky for us, the past few weeks of warm-ish weather means that the ground is not quite so solidly frozen that all the rain stays on top to form my annual street oceans but allows for the rain to sink into our very parched and dusty sand and create only shallow puddles.  In Anchorage last week the sun had continued its warming trend for 2 weeks and the ground had warmed up enough for this:

And I just had to take a quick photo as we walked by.

I wonder what they will be.

I wonder if they survived the snow and cold they had there for the past 2 days.

I wonder at the insanity of mother nature that she created plants that spike and then bloom, all with the quite real chance of getting frost bitten and killed because of the flighty nature of spring herself.

And then I wonder…can plants have courage?

Its an absurd personification, I know.  Its a human emotion, to have the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, and uncertainty…but don’t plants show sisu too?

These delicate little blossoms have the temerity and tenacity to poke their green little shoots out of the barely thawed ground and soak up every nanosecond of sun they have shone upon them.  They weather freezing rain, wind, snow and still, their little shoots reach heavenwards.  They convert all that life giving warmth to create these simple, fleeting blossoms, all in the hopes of being able to do it all again in 11 months time.

Oh, but to have that kind of blind courage.

To risk it all, life itself, for those fleeting moments of sun.

But then…

That is what I do.

I have the courage to ask myself on a daily basis: What IS “Happy”?

Is it something that can be deserved?

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

But it isn’t.

“Happy” for one may not be the definition for another because it is something entirely personal. Something entirely your own that no one but you can define.

And there is the crux of all problems.

Only you can answer:
Will this be enough?
Do I want this?
Am I doing the right thing?
Do I have the courage to let go the the know and safe and reach for the unknown?

And no one BUT you can be the answer either.

Happy cannot be another person, despite the first name given to you.*
Happy must be you feeling you.  You knowing you.

Happy is understanding that yes, the ground *WILL* call out when you least expect it.  And life will get messy and get worse before it gets better.  Because it always does.  But that is the trick to ‘happy’ too.  You have to meet the worst before you can meet the best – otherwise, how the hell could you appreciate what you’ve got?

Its incredibly scary to have the courage to reach out for “happy”.  Because you are leaving the known and safe behind.  Because sometimes, you have no idea what to do with the ‘happy’ once you’ve found it; where to go once you’ve got it; when you’re sad to have it because others are left out of it.

So you create a ‘happy’ mask.
Perfectly constructed to cover all pain




and you wear it continuously until that day when it begins to crack and fall away

And the monster of the unknown you is revealed
that person you have convinced others is real
that you tried to convince yourself was real
because you didn’t have the courage to face your fear of uncertainty and step into the unknown

And then real happiness can start to be created in its place.
Because real happiness can only happen when the real you is showing.

Paralyzingly scary at first
But it is REAL happy as long as you have the courage to be the real you when you are creating it.


its only another mask.

And no one can live that way for very long.

But to reach for the life-giving warmth and strength of happiness against all weather and walk that tightrope of finding happiness in life without harness?

That is scary.
That takes courage.
That takes remembering that a harness holds you up but its the safety net that catches you when you fall.

And no one ever said anything about operating without a safety net.

*There is a man in Cold Bay named “Happy”.  Seriously.