Happiness sometimes feels like such an airy-fairy concept. You can’t get your hands around it. There’s nothing to hold or touch or smell. It’s an abstract term. Yet happiness, or the lack of it, is something most of us talk or think about nearly every day.

I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project and well, it is making me happy. You might want to check it out for yourself. She’s looked at the research on happiness and applies it to her everyday life with a series of essays, observations and stories. By association, her readers are able to follow suit and apply what she’s learned to our lives.

If we’re so inclined.

Happy Horses

Yesterday when I was out feeding my two old sweeties, I had a concrete example of horse happiness. It was horse bliss really and infectious as all get out.

When I drove up I noticed that a new pasture had been opened. That meant knee-high grass that heretofore hadn’t been touched by equine lips.

Nirvana for horses.

And because they were waiting for me at the gate, like they do almost every day, the Herd of Oldsters was first into the new pasture. The rest of the herd didn’t even know the gate had been opened. They were at the far end of one pasture doing young horse things. You know, running, challenging each other, and play fighting.

The Oldsters have no time for such nonsense. They want to be left alone with their friends. The highlight of their day is when I come to hand out treats. I know this because they’ve said as much in horse language, which I’m getting pretty good at translating.

The lure of new pasture was almost too much for Bud and Pepper. When they first saw me, they weren’t sure they wanted grain. Bud looked up, stared at me for a second or two and then resumed grazing. Pepper actually turned her back to me.

I waited for a few minutes, content to simply watch. It was a perfect Colorado day. There was blue sky overhead, a light breeze wafting across my face and a temperature of around eighty. It was what Colorado summers are supposed to be every day, to my way of thinking.

So I watched and felt inexplicably happy.

My breathing slowed, the to-do list in my head faded, and for those few moments, time stood still.

Eventually I decided to walk into the pasture and ask one more time if Bud and Pepper wanted some lunch. This time they thought grain sounded all right, so they followed me to the car and their feed pans.


Red, Amigo and Chickadee came along for a couple of snacks, but soon returned to the pasture. That tall grass was too enticing.


I’ve been thinking about my happiness lately because on so many days I haven’t felt all that happy. And I intend to change that because I don’t like the poverty of spirit that comes with not feeling happy. It’s my summer adventure – to regain happiness as my daily state of being.


Tell me, if you would please, what is one thing that makes you happy? Leave your comment below. As we share ideas, we enrich each other.

Come on, what’s on your happiness list?