The Marks of Happiness

Fall Creek Falls

Black. And. Blue. That’s me, now, after a weekend of hiking 15+ miles of trails (many of them nearly vertical) in stunning Fall Creek Falls. It was meant to be a getaway weekend with a good friend, but when he took ill, I decided to go on my own anyway. I am so very happy that I did.

There’s something magical that happens when you spend hours, even days, not conversing with anyone. The narrator in your head (who in my case also takes turns being the nag, the whiner, the bored child, the cheesy joker, and the timid wallflower) gets tired of talking to only itself after a while, and eventually just goes somewhere in the endless corridors of the mind to take a much-needed nap.

And then there is quiet. 

For me, that’s when another voice emerges. Not in the mind, but seemingly from the center of my chest, right under the ribs. Her voice is much softer, and she speaks in a direct manner, answering questions in the least amount of words necessary, but expertly chosen. She’s quite enjoyable really.

Some of our conversations were nurturing:

“This waterfall is incredible! I can’t believe it! I have to take 1000 pictures and make the most of it! There isn’t even anyone around!”

You are so fortunate to be alone here – sit at the foot and meditate on it a while.

Others were humorous:

“What if there are fish in the water?? They’re so slimy and I hate the way they dart around like little crackheads. I don’t trust them.”

You ridiculous girl. Put your feet in the lovely, crisp water. No one dies of fish bites. 

But my favorite thing that she said, over and over and over again was:

You are happy. 

You are HAPPY.


Another voice said this better than I, long ago. She was many years younger and many lifetimes wiser than I will ever be.

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”  – ANNE FRANK

2 thoughts on “The Marks of Happiness

  1. Wow, I sit here and reflect on the quote by Anne Frank, and now more than ever, I see such an incredible beautiful human being who understood more in her youth than I had in my 40 years. Having walked up those stairs behind the book case that I read about in a young girls diary, having had a survivor collapse at the top of the stairs in my arms looking at me with tears welling in her eyes speaking a language I couldn’t understand holding onto me, as I told her it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. It is now more than ever, in this moment that I realize so much of my life’s journey as I see it in your life’s journey through your posts. Find happiness everyday by loving yourself first, for then when the right people come into your life, it will be even easier to love them. Give thanks to God morning noon and night for all that you have. Do the things that are uncomfortable, because you never know where a comfort may truly lye. Travel across country by yourself and experience God’s country as only you can see it. Create memories. Find your purpose no matter how long it takes. More importantly now than ever in this day of technology…..look up.


    1. What an amazing story! You need to tell me the whole thing in person soon. 🙂 And WOW that is so true – you cannot love anyone else well until you love yourself. I’ve come to realize that about people that I loved that left my life when I didn’t want them to. It’s so much easier to love people that let yourself be loved. Learning to receive love is the single hardest thing to do in life, if you ask me.


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