After a day of clouds that became full blown rain in the mid-afternoon, the sky turned blue and the sun became visible in time to begin it's downward descent toward evening and eventual night. I was standing in the kitchen, listening to Katie Melua, when the sun broke through the clouds and the way it touched the trees, at just the right angle filled me with such incredible happiness, it was almost unbearable.
Like all humans and probably other mammals as well, I have had a lifetime of searching for happiness. When I first moved into this house, I had a vision of myself as an old man, smoking a pipe, retired from my career as a musician, my life's struggles behind me. As the following twenty plus years unfolded, the struggles became harder, the pursuit of happiness was subdued by the pursuit of employment, conditions under which happiness is most often unattainable and largely impossible. The result was hostility, depression and eventual alienation. I eventually had an experience that caused me to re-evaluate what is important and meaningful in my life and I have come to realize that what I have been told for decades is really true. The most meaningful parts of one's life are not the houses and cars nor the bank account, but the people you can count on in times of need and those with whom you can share meaningful experiences.
While I am not officially retired in terms of old-age pensions or government statistics and I don't smoke a pipe, I have become more comfortable with working less and enjoying myself more. I have traded my drumset for a sketch pad and my sticks for pencils. There is no need to do one final tour for posterity; if I were to tour now, it would be to see my friends who no longer live in this area, and to enjoy the vast wonderfulness of this great land; Canada.
So the sun can set contentedly this evening, knowing he shone some wisdom on an old fool today and taught me what the great Sages and Wise Teachers have been saying since the beginning of time and which I have been too blinded by my rage to see... Our happiness lies within us; it is not an entity that is outside us or to be provided by someone else. We create it with our perceptions and desire to have it.