“However decried in prospect, limited fortunes, obscurity, insignificance, are by experience, proved most friendly to human happiness” – Hints on the Source of Happiness, 1819
A journal entry, written on a hot Sunday afternoon in London after I had spent some time watching the clouds when laying atop a picnic table.
“It is a hot day in July and the sky is bright blue despite it being almost 6pm. There are a few passing clouds. The air smells like summer in the city; sweaty, smoky and heavy. I find it comforting.
I remember being in awe watching the balance of nature; cyclical and uninterrupted
As I watch the clouds float across the sky above me and feel the heat on my skin, I am reminded of a sunrise I saw last summer on a beach in Barcelona. It was one of those where the sun seems to pop up over the horizon and the sky becomes fluid with changing colours. I remember seeing the birds fly out to sea – black against the orange sky – as the natural world started to wake up. I remember being in awe watching the balance of nature; cyclical and uninterrupted. I felt hugely insignificant and yet, in this moment I found peace and happiness.
I realised that nothing that was happening in my life or in my head had any impact on what was happening right in front of me – what was all around me.
I figured that true beauty lies in nature: in circles, the changing of the seasons, the transitions between day and night and the clouds passing overhead.”
true happiness comes from the natural world. Knowing that every morning the sun will rise, the birds will fly out to the horizon, and the clouds will eventually pass to reveal the blue sky behind.
In our culture there seems to be a constant strive for significance, with individuals placing their happiness on their relevance, social status and material prominence. Like everything in life, these things will be constantly changing, rising and falling. Allowing these things to rule our lives will ultimately lead to an unsatisfied and unfulfilled existence. In my opinion, true happiness comes from the natural world. Knowing that every morning the sun will rise, the birds will fly out to the horizon, and the clouds will eventually pass to reveal the blue sky behind.