“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing,
after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” (Mr.
Spock - "Amok Time" Star Trek)
Even in the warmth of this upside-down October though, my thoughts drift to the winter that lies just over the horizon. I think about snowflakes from winters long past. Right now I am wishing for those rare October snowflakes; those big, white flakes that waft down and melt as soon the touch the still-warm grass. It suddenly occurred to me that the secret to being happy is wanting what you already have - and not wanting what you don't have.
Here I am on a sunny, warm, October day wistfully thinking about snowflakes. Yes, it's me again, wanting something I don't have, and having something I don't really want. It's not that I don't want the sunshine or the balmy autumn weather. I just don't like one season messing with another. I like the seasons. All four of them, and I don't like it much when one season intrudes on another. I've had enough summer, it's time for fall. You might think that I'm an unhappy, old curmudgeon. But, I'm not. I wish that I could be happy with what I have and never find myself wishing for what I don't. But, a saint, I am not.
It's just human nature to want what you don't have and not be quite happy with what you do have. Maybe not you. But me? I'm always battling with stuff like this. A jumbled mind have I. But, it's always been this way. I know it and I live with it. I actually enjoy it. So, no psychiatrists for me. I'm sure a psychiatrist would find me some-kind-of-retentive. But being an ordinary layman, I have no idea what I am retaining. I'm sure I've some sort of neurosis that could be cured with a pill. But, no pills for me.
I know you think I don't think
at all, but let me tell you that I think I know that the secret to being
happy. The secret to being happy is to want what you have and be satisfied with it.
But not for me. I am happiest when yearning for what I don't have. And,
let me tell you, there's
something to be said for yearning. I love to long. I long to yearn. I
don't know why. Color me crazy. But happy!
I miss the snowflakes most of all right now. I can picture them dancing in the air outside my window. It's a hard thing to do when it's warm enough to break a sweat. My mind does what it does best and yearns for something that it cannot have. I sort of like it this way. I doesn't make me an unhappy person because I want things I cannot have. Actually, it motivates me. Right now I want to see snowflakes falling from a gray autumn sky. It will make me feel, for a moment, like the eighth-grader I once was, sitting in a classroom, on a mid-October day long ago, watching the first snowflakes of the season drifting down, and wishing with all my might that I could get up out of my seat and go outside and catch snowflakes on my tongue. See? Even way back then, I always wanted something or other that I could not have. There wasn't much chance of the teacher, whomever she or he was, would have excused me long enough to go outside and play in those wonderful, first snowflakes of the season.
And what about the illusive snowflakes? No two of them are exactly alike. Neither are any two days alike. And no two people are alike. Isn't it great? What a boring world it would be if this October was exactly the same as last October. Or next October was the same as every other. Or if I were like you. Or if you were like me. Or if tomorrow was an exact copy of today. I like the not knowing what lies ahead. It makes life interesting. I like yearning for what I don't have. Wishing and hoping and yearning for things you don't have is the stuff of dreams and dreams are the inspirations of tomorrow. Right now I'm yearning, once again, for what I don't have. And what I don't have today is the sight of snowflakes falling softly down from a cold, gloomy, October sky.
And, I might not see any snowflakes dancing in the sky for quite awhile. It does not matter. They will come when in their own good time. Or they may not come at all. But, still, I can yearn for them.
I have a hunch that by, oh say, February, I'll be yearning for the warmth of the spring sun. I'll be yearning for the tulips to push up through the snow. I'll be yearning for color to return to the dirty, gray-black and white winter landscape. And, by then, I have the feeling, I will have had all the snowflakes I care to see. Yes, I will have the snowflakes that I so long for now on this warm October day, only I won't want them anymore. Isn't it great?
Wanting what you can't have is the stuff of dreams and inspires us. It is not logical, but it is often true.
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