Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I have come to the realization (again) that I am not a joyful person. This fact hit me full on after this past weekend’s big event – my high school reunion. The same people that were lively and vivacious are still so, while those who were a little shy, mostly in the background, remain so. On Facebook there is a quiz "What is your real age?” While these little quizzes are mostly silly and I don’t usually participate, I thought I’d give it a go. My result? I am 50 – my real age came out as 52. Those lively and vivacious ones? Pretty much same age as me, and their result was 22, or so. Kind of depressing. And yet, what can I do – especially at age 50? I have always been this way, and it’s not as if I have chosen to live life on the gloomy side. I would desperately love to be happy, and optimistic and full of zest for life like those girls from high school. But I can’t get up tomorrow and say to myself: “OK, from this day forward you are going to be joyful, embrace all of life and drink in its goodness!” That is not me, and it just doesn't work that way. And while I cannot say that I am miserable ALL the time, I tend to dwell too much on all my various fears: aging, pain, and death. I reflect on the often dark side of the human condition, the suffering of innocents, of animals, the destruction of our planet, and feel how can anyone in their right mind be happy.

But, as I observed to a dear friend recently, that is one of the reasons I have become so absorbed by gardening: when I am there, I do not think – I simply am. I am there with my plants, my cats, my little corner of paradise. I dig, weed, experiment, plant – observe,learn and just breathe. At the end of the day, when the sun’s last rays bathe the towering acacia trees in gold – I look upon what I have, and I think I am almost happy, and life, at least for that moment in time, is good - very good indeed.