Family

children • education • parents
relationships • marriage • the elderly

Family

Happiness Is Not a Potato

August 18, 2020 by

No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mold, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew that the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise. –Charlotte Brontë

I am not sunshiny and cheerful by default, so I love this quote from Charlotte Brontë’s book, Villette. For me, happiness is a gift, not something to take for granted. I have no control over the unexpected happenings in my life, so I try to make the most of each good day, and strive for a better attitude on bad days!


HAPPINESS IS NOT A POTATO

When I was a little girl
I had a wild imagination that could take me far into another world.
I would find my happy place, dancing with the wind in a tall maple.
The branches were my living room, 
A shady hideout for a summer noon.
I could sit up there all day, watching the clouds against a blue sky.
If it started to rain in the shelter of that canopy I’d watch the storm blow by.
A childhood made of fantasies.
A million happy memories for me to keep.


But happiness is not a potato.
You don’t cultivate it, or sit and watch it grow.
Happiness is the freshness of summer morning dew,
It’s arias of songbirds, and lilac-scented June.
It’s whispering pines as they sway in the majestic way they do.
Happiness is a gift given to you.


Time’s been schooling me,
In the years since innocence and childhood daydreams in my favorite tree.
My leafy bird’s eye view got shadowed by other taller trees that grew.
Weathered by the wind, the hardships and the trials of life begin.
And realistically, perspective’s always different from a new tree.
And positivity can be dampened in an instant by things unforeseen.
So I cultivate my attitude,
And lift my voice in gratitude when I’m happy.


But happiness is not a potato
You don’t cultivate it, or sit and watch it grow.
Happiness is the freshness of summer morning dew,
It’s arias of songbirds, and lilac-scented June.
It’s whispering pines as they sway in the majestic way they do.
Happiness is a gift given to you.

Comments

About the author

Alissa and her dad, Clem.

Alissa Robertshaw

Alissa Robertshaw lives at Fox Hill, a Bruderhof in upstate New York, where she writes songs and cooks up a storm.

Read Biography
View All Authors

What is the Voices Blog?

Voices is a blog by Bruderhof members, covering topics important to us and to you.

What is the Bruderhof? We're an intentional Christian community with locations worldwide. We try to love our neighbor and share everything, so that peace and justice become a reality.

Find out more about the Bruderhof.

Keep Up-To-Date

Sign up for a weekly email from the Bruderhof

Another Life Is Possible - 100 years of life together at the Bruderhof

In Pictures

Follow us on Instagram for snapshots of Bruderhof life

Recommended Readings

View All

You Might Also Like

View All Articles
View All Articles