Trying to Be Happy Now (Rather than Later)

April 10, Feast of St. Fulbert, bishop of Chartes, author of hymns, treatises, and letters.

I found out that what I thought was the Fairy Glen was not actually the Fairy Glen, but Tan-Y-Coed, a little sea-side garden where all the daffodils grow like many bright-bonneted ladies.  The Fairy Glen is much wilder, a little farther on, actually right alongside the road where we live, following the River Conwy--Afon Conwy, as it is called, and I'm beginning to think it a premonition that I named my son Afon.

I can hardly believer we're here, at last.  But already I find myself growing restless, eager to move and walk, alert for any whispering in the trees and itching to get just over the next hill, the next bend in the path, the next bay . . . until I walk myself right to the shore of the salty sea, and still, still, I think my feet would keep going into the waves if my mind didn't stop them.

Like departing paths, my plans keep branching out before my eyes, and before I can even stop to write them down or pause to consider them, they've taken to foot and run away with me.  They hold up little mirror-visions, like paintings on a merry-go-round: of me owning a spinning wheel and making my own yarn and thread, learning to fillet crochet, opening an Etsy shop to sell my ink scrawlings on the back of post cards, keeping a sketchbook with me at all times to improve my drawing, starting a photography business, moving into an old-but-cozy cottage somewhere between the mountains and the sea, then caring for sheep on a farm, and even a stretch of time spent in Swiss Alps, maybe a certain time of year, of climbing mountains, of climbing Mount Snowdon, of walking tours, and hiking around the coast of Anglesey, and as many fancies as there are flowers, spinning and dizzying.

The road goes ever on and on. . .

I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but I am afraid that it takes me away from what matters: from the beauty of now, the spring sun all water-clean and my son's fading chubbiness and growing vocabulary.  Why didn't the moment of late afternoon on the hill cliff over the ocean satisfy?  And wasn't planting flower seeds in dark soil with Afon a rich piece of my previous dreaming?  Why have the things I've done yesterday fled so soon?

I guess this is our mortal lot in life.  To always be wanting and looking forward, always searching, never satisfied.  C.S. Lewis calls it joy, but--!  I never imagined joy to feel so sweetly painful.  And how do we as Christians reconcile, when we know that we will ever only truly be happy in Heaven, with the peace that surpasses all understanding?  And is it okay for me to always be looking forward?  Is it ungrateful and wicked not to be satisfied with Now?

I sometimes believe nothing short of an elf-ship setting sail to the Undying Lands--Westernesse, Atlantis, Avalon, Brocéliande, or what have you!--would satisfy.



  1. contentment is hard but brings joy also; I like to plan too; it's hard to always know what to do and not to do; sometimes it takes a lot of time and a lot of seeking to see what is really real in our lives before we know what can be next... blessings to you! enjoy the wonder that you are seeing, as you show it!! <3

  2. I have found that in taking photos (which I never did in my life until I started a blog) I am becoming more aware of the small glories that surround me. Also, seizing the opportunities to make the things that we need rather than looking for them in a thrift shop. That's how I learned many of the homely skills I have now, and having those skills has been a continual source of joy and peace because I can - amazingly - create things; I am mirroring God in that way, and that deepens my relationship with Him. Get yourself some yarn, look up videos on how to filet crochet (one of the simplest things to do, actually) and enjoy the creativity that God gave you!


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