Is Happiness a Place?

Great minds think alike. Glen texted me yesterday saying that he’d written a post. I had been making some mental (and recorded) notes about thoughts that had been rolling around in my head. And since we’ve returned, many people who I didn’t even know were reading our blog, reached out and asked us to continue. Thank you for your encouragement. Here goes…

There are many sayings about “place” that resonate with me…home is where the heart is….a place in time…happiness is a direction, not a place…somewhere over the rainbow…home on the range…I understand that my interpretation of “place” may be broad, but my real question is…Is happiness a place?

Returning to Walnut Creek after our 3+ month trip east, I found that what I looked forward to upon our arrival was reconnecting with the people who make it home. Family is the first thing that makes a “home”. The presence of Niels and Blair in Walnut Creek creates that sense of “place”. Friends also create that “place”. They provide many joys – be they hiking friends, make-me-laugh friends, make-me-think friends, listening friends, pushing me friends, dinner table friends…you know and have those people in your lives, too.

And I think that what I learned on my meanderings in Brooklyn is that happiness is not a place. “Place” holds many memories – activities in a place, the beauty of a place, the food of a place…and what I deem to be the real importance of “place” – the people in a place. When I think of what really mattered in Brooklyn – after all the photos, all the walks, all the food – it was the people who made the memories. The people who created the “place” in my heart. I have thousands of photos of buildings, nature, street art, bridges… and few photos of the people of New York and yet my strongest memories are the faces and words of the people. People whom I will likely never see again, but whose small and large kindnesses have touched my heart.

So going forward, wherever we may land, I’ll be looking to the people – the strangers, the family members, the neighbors, the new and old friends, the shopkeepers, the street peddlers, the unhoused, the baristas, the restaurateurs, the passersby, the Metro riders, all the people…and maybe I’ll become that weird old, white-haired lady sitting on the park bench photographing the “place” by photographing the people who are the true heart of a place because…

“Place” is where the heart is.

Published by gat2jdt2

60 something retirees (or semi-retirees) learning to live differently

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