Saturday, 10 September 2016

Happiness is not a potato


Blowing away the cobwebs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – going for a stretch on the moors above Haworth is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I feel lucky to live in Yorkshire where there’s enough city life (enough for me at any rate) but also enough easily-accessed countryside with inspiring views. The world is a big and scary place so I think that finding places of sanctuary is important. The colour of moorland heather always heartens my spirit, whether it’s blazing in the sun, drenched in teeming rain or shrouded in eery mist. Heather makes me happy.

Cultivating happiness

Happiness is an elusive thing. It can creep up unexpectedly. It can disappear in a trice, like mist on the moors. Charlotte Brontë reflected in the sensational Villette:
No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure.
Yet it seems to me that you can do things, say things and be places that help you find some level of happiness. Without the tyranny of a working week I find it much easier to appreciate the small and beautiful things that happen every day. I wish I could have done that more readily when I worked. What prompted the good folk of Haworth to hold a Halloween parade last October? Sinister pagan rituals, or fun communal activities? (They were collecting for charity so whatever the reason for dressing up, some good came out of it.)
Haworth - a town of regular surprises.... and a base for marvellous walks.