By the time we reach a certain age, I think most of us know, or at least sense, that the pursuit of happiness – our basic birthright, is just that, a pursuit.
To the extent we take on life we come to realize that the pursuit follows a path sometimes long and twisting, sometimes steep beyond exhaustion, the results never guaranteed. (Our right to pursue doesn’t extend to getting what we’re after.) In spite of that, we still continue in its pursuit as long as we are conscious.
We find that scattered along this lifelong journey are places to pause, breathe in the mountain air, take in the view, let our imagination roam, recharge, and, ultimately, be inspired to search further. These pauses are in themselves actual moments of happiness, the object of our pursuit.
The places are familiar and varied. For instance: connecting with soul mates; personal achievements; grasping certain liberating ideas that open us to greater possibilities; breakthrough discoveries; acquiring or witnessing something that lifts us to higher planes of awareness – art, for instance, of any kind or scale – architecture included. Maybe it’s the act of creation itself. Maybe happiness lies in the journey – in its pursuit. The possibilities are endless and as variable as life itself.
Wherever we find it, the payoff for this determined pursuit, besides pride we take in the effort, and perhaps the pleasure derived from it, is reaching those places along the way where, no matter how fleeting it might be, we experience moments of joy, the very essence of our being alive. How we get there and the quality of what we find depend to a large extent on the choices made by each of us – a topic for another post.