[Image by SamyaPhotography at DeviantART]
Some friends and I were talking on the weekend about the moment we first experienced pure happiness and actually knew it.
We were all quite young – four, five or six years old – when we experienced the unencumbered joy of taking pleasure in the moment.
I had a thing for windmills when I was a young child.
When I was about four a new toy shop opened in the High Street. The window was decorated with all manner of wonderful things – baby dolls with their own prams, wind-up robots, the latest Barbie and Cindy dolls, roller skates; and most wondrous of all – bright and shiny windmills in a huge array of colours.
The windmills (or pinwheels as some people call them) were sixpence. I had only thruppence in my Jolly Leprechaun money bank that my Irish cousins had given me for my birthday. I spent hours, days, devising plans to get the rest of the money, praying every night for thruppence.
One day my Aunt Jo took me into town. We fed the ducks in the park, ate ice-creams, then happened to walk past the toy shop.
Aunt Jo bought me a red and blue windmill.
That afternoon I walked out into the garden, licking my finger and holding it up to the air, as I had seen my grandfather do before casting his line when fishing; testing for wind direction.
Satisfied there was sufficient wind, I took out my prized windmill and walked around the garden. The low afternoon light brushed the edges of the red and blue foil, flinging the colours out into the hedgerows like mini laser lights.
The wheels turned with a satisfying whirr, red and blue spirals soaring and zooming as the wind took hold. I marched round and round the garden as if I was on parade, holding my windmill aloft.
A robin came. A hedgehog, wondering what all the fuss was about. I continued to march, shoulders held straight with pride. The garden, the hedgehog, the robin, the wind, the spin of the windmill, the almost amber afternoon light, my marching feet gliding on the lawn. This was enough to ensure my complete happiness.
I hummed to myself, composing a rhapsody to the wind and spinning wheels, happier than I remembered ever being before. And the equation put in place that day has held true ever since.
Simple things+ simple pleasures = pure happiness.