Continuing to reach for happiness

I read this quote recently in one of my favorite newsletters by 

Dr. Mark Hyman. It has stayed with me.

“I am washing my face before bed while a country is on fire. It feels dumb to wash my face, and dumb not to. It has never been this way, and it has always been this way. Someone has always clinked a cocktail glass in one hemisphere as someone loses a home in another while someone falls in love in the same apartment building where someone grieves. The fact that suffering, mundanity and beauty coincide is unbearable and remarkable.” – Mari Andrew

Sadly, not much has changed since my last post in terms of the world news, at least not in a positive way. I continue to reach toward nature to calm my senses, and I’m never disappointed. This week, the birds have begun their nest building, bluebirds in my backyard and bluejays in my front. This is one of my favorite times, watching the birds work diligently to create a safe haven for their offspring. 

We knew so little about birdhouses when we first moved to the foothills. We had the birdhouses in our Montara yard, but no birds inhabited them. They were only decorative. While unpacking our boxes when we moved to the foothills, we set one of them on our deck railing. The next day there were already birds building a nest inside. Sadly the deck railing was a dangerous place for a nest, and shortly after the baby birds hatched, some animal attacked the nest, leaving a massacre on our deck. 

Within a few years, we developed a plan. We placed the birdhouses on wooden poles in the back of our yard, put a shield around the pole so no animals could climb up to the house, and placed the houses atop the pole. In the first year, we filled both houses with success. We’ve had bluebirds, titmice, and swallows in the years since, my favorite being the swallows. They fly like little bomber pilots to and from the birdhouse; they are fun to watch! And one baby swallow, in particular, would poke his head out of the hole every day waiting to be fed, cutest little face! The day I realized they had left the nest, I felt a bit melancholy. 

But the following year brought new life, as has each year since. I welcome our little bird families this year, needing their reminder of the sweetness of new life during this disturbing time in our world. 

The tiny corn sprouts have made their way up through the soil, as have the potatoes. The maple leaves open a bit more each day, waking up from a harsh winter. I look across our canyon, which has gone from brown to green in just a week, and I pause to enjoy these spring days. Summer and the threat of fire will be here before I know it, but I have no fear of fire today. These disjointed thoughts combine to remind me that all I ever have is now, so it’s essential to use my good days wisely. 

And simply put, to me, that means only a few things. Say a prayer for those in need, do what I can to help, and after that, embrace my day, slow down enough to take in my blessings, enjoy them, and give thanks. 

My last thought is that tragedy often brings people together. Our nation is so torn and tattered after the last few years. It seems none of us can agree on much. I’ve never felt so disconnected from my fellow Americans. But in the last few weeks, I’ve finally been reminded of what makes this nation great. Everyone I’ve met seems to be behind Ukraine, wearing support T-shirts, posting, grieving, praying for the refugees, regardless of where they came from, what color their skin is, what political or religious party they belong to. We finally can agree on something. 

Let’s not underestimate the power of our thoughts and our support. I’m known for saying, “Goodness will always prevail; it sometimes just takes a while.” I will continue to repeat this mantra to myself.

Our greatest gift is patience.

Stay well, friends.


  1. Lovely and heartening, Sue. Thanks!


    • Thank you Sallie!

  2. Thank you, this really hit home for me. I have been feeling a bit guilty about planning a long awaited vacation while others are suffering in the Ukrainian and Russia. Both countries have lost young lives because of the decisions made by the Russian government. I will continue to pray for peace and comfort to those whose have lost loved ones in the war.

    • I think we all struggle with these feelings of guilt. It’s important for us to remember that we are right where we are supposed to be always, and I don’t think we should ever take for granted our good times. You had a rough time not so long ago. It’s your time now to enjoy and embrace life.

  3. Thank you Sue, I feel uplifted after reading your thoughts.🙏💕

    • Thank you Laurin!

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