written several days ago:
Today I am happy. There is a deep, peaceful river of happiness running through me. The river is calm, but fast running, with swirling eddies along its banks where lush green dips sun drenched fronds into cooling water to find refreshment. A cozy warmth has settled over me and I find myself being where I can stay calm and revel in the happiness.
I was thinking later of an experience from my teens in the high Grand Tetons of Idaho at the end of a week long camping trip where I participated in lots of character and team building challenges. On the last day we were each to go off on our own for an hour or two on a solo experience. I took with me my scriptures, a journal, a jacket, snacks and water all in my backpack. I walked up the trail for about 10-15 minutes until I couldn't hear human sounds, and all was quiet.
I found a small meadow with bright green soft grass, yellow mountain daisies and a handful of boulders tossed haphazardly around. I picked a spot, spread out my jacket and settled on my stomach to write for a few minutes. The sun warm on my back and legs. The sound of a breeze rustling leaves and grasses in the background. The occasional bird call. Greenness, so bright, it seemed to reflect onto the white pages of my journal. I wrote quickly and just fell into the serenity of being alone.
I woke up, but didn't open my eyes. There was warmth all throughout me, and a sort of bubble-like feeling of safety about me. My eyes still closed, with bright light filtering through my eyelids, I became aware of a presence. Another being was there with me, and knew I was being watched. I felt safe, so I just stayed still until I was ready, and then opened my eyes.
I had fallen asleep with my chin resting on my crossed hands and with my journal and pen underneath them both. My eyes at first were overwhelmed by the light, readjusted quickly and focused on what was in view. A brown, pointy-eared and alert coyote, or maybe even a wolf, lay in front of me his chin resting on his crossed paws. His eyes were bright and blue, alert and seemed not show any surprise at finding this strange creature in his territory. In mind I said, surprised, "Well, hello there Mr. Coyote."
He lay there looking back at me, and I at him, both of us motionless, for several long moments stretching endlessly out on that brilliant meadow. The only movement was one of his ears pointing slightly forward. I scarcely dared breath, in awe of and totally aware of the fragility of what was happening. Finally, he blinked, then yawned, raising his head a bit and his tongue curling up into his mouth before his teeth came back together. He then shook his head and his whole body, standing as he did so, like a dog shaking off water, with sunlight catching his fur and painting it golden.
I sat up and watched as he silently, blithely moved away to the tree line and he slipped into the shadows. I stayed silent a moment longer, and then laughed in release, incredulous at what had just happened. I stayed there thinking, wrote a little more, drank some water, cleared my head and again reveled in the silence.
This is my happy place; well, one of a few happy places. And some days this is where I chose to go. Where do you choose to go?